When Dom Tourneur rides in Victoria, the South Australian jockey makes it count.
He heads to Caulfield for three rides in Group One races on Saturday, all for Phillip Stokes, and two are leading contenders.
Hucklebuck is a $5.50 second favourite behind Turn Me Loose ($3.30) in the Futurity Stakes while Samara Dancer shares the third line of betting at $6.50 for the day’s feature, the Blue Diamond Stakes.
His third, Eclair Choice, is a $31 chance in the Oakleigh Place.
Tourneur is banking on a better draw for Hucklebuck to break a 15-month losing streak.
Hucklebuck finished a last-start third behind Suavito in the CF Orr Stakes on February 13 after jumping from barrier 18.
While the gelding ran on strongly in the straight, Tourneur said Hucklebuck peaked on his run.
But his trackwork since indicates the five-year-old has taken improvement and Tourneur is confident he will show his best in the Futurity.
“No Group One is easy to win but we go in confident with where our bloke is,” Tourneur said.
“It helps to draw a gate as we’ll be able to put him in a position that we want to be rather than having to find a position.”
Tourneur hopes to track Turn Me Loose, who he just beat into fourth place in the CF Orr Stakes, knowing that he too will take improvement from that first-up run.
Tourneur partnered Samara Dancer in her final gallop in front of stewards at Morphettville on Tuesday.
She was passed for the Blue Diamond after a trickle of blood was found in a nostril after her win in the Blue Diamond Prelude on February 13.
“She’s done everything asked of her to date,” Tourneur said.
“You can’t do any more than win and we’re going in knowing we’ve got a live chance in the race.”