Trainer Patrick Payne is confident Husson Eagle has everything in his favour to suggest the million dollar earner is ready to fire in his return from a let-up at Flemington.
Husson Eagle was nominated for a heat of the All Victorian Sprint Series at Moonee Valley last Saturday but Payne opted to wait a week to run in the Grampions Region Handicap (1100m).
“He’s a little bit better up the straight at Flemington than around the corner at Moonee Valley,” Payne said.
“At Flemington they sort of bunch up a little bit and he’s not giving them away as big a head start.”
Six-year-old Husson Eagle has five wins and 10 placings from his 33 starts and has nudged past $1 million prize money, much of that from his 2016 Magic Millions Sprint win.
Saturday’s $100,000 race will be his first start for two months and apprentice Nathan Punch will take 3kg off his 56kg.
“He goes well fresh, 1100-metres is a perfect distance for him I think and he hasn’t carried 53 kilos for a very long time,” Payne said.
“When he’s fresh and has a peaceful run for the first half, he’s normally very good late.”
The trainer rates Husson Eagle his best chance on the program but also has last-start Adelaide winners Chamois Road and Hussy’s Glow in separate races.
Payne expects Chamois Road to run his usual honest race in the Brian Beattie Handicap (1400m) but fears the Darren Weir-trained favourite Ozi Choice who went within 0.36sec of breaking the 1400m Flemington record two weeks ago.
“Chamois Road has had a bit of time between runs and he’s training really well,” Payne said.
“A horse like Ozi Choice is a bit of a galloping machine for this time of the year so I’m not sure if he can beat him or not. But we’ve claimed (with Mitch Aitken) to give him every chance.
“He’ll run as well as what he can. Whether he’s good enough or not, I’m not sure.”
Four-year-old Hussy’s Glow was stakes placed in Tasmania as a two-year-old and has registered two city wins in Adelaide, including last start in a fillies and mares benchmark-75.
She gets another chance in Melbourne in Saturday’s The Murray Region Handicap (1400m) against her own sex.
“We’re trying to win a race in Melbourne with her,” Payne said.