Weekend Hussler Sets Sights on Liston Stakes
The $200 000 JJ Liston Stakes will take place on Saturday, 14 August 2008, at Caulfield Racecourse. With Weekend Hussler’s trainer, Ross McDonald, looking to take the Caulfield Cup-Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup treble, he could not afford any injury to his horse. Unfortunately for some time it almost seemed as if Weekend Hussler was out of the running, leaving trainer, handlers, jockey and owners very worried. But Weekend Hussler proved that he was a fighter, and seems to be making enough progress to be a confirmed entry into the Liston Stakes.
After an abscess was found on Weekend Hussler’s heel, on his off –foreleg, there was some concern that he would not be able to compete in the weekend’s racing. But through constant monitoring and treatment by his handlers and top veterinary care, the abscess burst on Tuesday, giving him time to heal.
With track rider, Les Beer, in the saddle and with regular jockey Brad Rawiller on a stablemate, Weekend Hussler was taken around the track to look for lameness or any signs of pain. Watching from the sidelines was Ross McDonald and veterinarian Dr Paul O’Callaghan, to ensure that Weekend Hussler was comfortable and to check on the progress of his healing. He completed a thousand meter gallop in even time with his stable mate, showing no signs of pain or discomfort at any time. All agreed that Weekend Hussler has made great progress and that if he continues healing as well as he has, he will be fit to compete in Saturdays’ racing. Other contenders that are confirmed to be in the starting gates on race day include Live In Vain, Zarita, Kibbutz, Alexander of Hales, Dealer Principle and Gallopin.
Weekend Hussler has proven himself to be a racing phenomenon, reaching career earnings of approximately $2.38 million before he was four years of age and being victorious in nine of his eleven career starts, of which six of those victories were at Group 1 level. After coming back from well deserved rest, winning his fourth consecutive race in April, Weekend Hussler looks even better than he has ever been, and ready for his next challenge. Now, going after the treble, and after seeing his determination and toughness, there is no doubt that if a horse were to conquer the treble, Weekend Hussler is a brilliant candidate that has what it takes to do it.