Kensington Stakes aim for Husson Eagle
Mathew Toogood 3 days ago
Husson Eagle can pass $1 million in career earnings and add to an enviable first-up record in the Listed Kensington Stakes at Flemington.
The Patrick Payne-trained sprinter is scheduled to make his return in Saturday's 1000m straight-track sprint, armed with a record of three wins and a second from five first-up starts.
Victory in the Kensington Stakes, with first prize money of $75,000, would take the six-year-old's career earnings to seven figures at his 30th start.
Husson Eagle was given an easy time in a barrier trial at Stony Creek last week.
"He often is brilliant first-up and he's showing us pretty good signs," Payne said.
Payne's stable has had 10 winners across Victoria since the start of December, including nine since December 20.
That run has been highlighted by Widgee Turf's three city wins, the most recent at Caulfield a week ago.
"We didn't have any horses for the spring so we thought we'd just step around the spring and place the horses for summer time when we thought the races would hopefully be a bit easier for them," Payne said.
"And we've been lucky enough to make a bit of hay while the sun shines."
The consistent Chamois Road finished second to Burning Front in Saturday's Listed Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington, having been placed in the Group Three Standish Handicap on January 1.
Widgee Turf is expected to have his next start in the VOBIS Gold Star (1500m) at Moonee Valley later this month.
"He seems to have come back a bit stronger. He's going really well," Payne said.
The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra stable could have two runners in the Kensington Stakes.
Former Hong Kong sprinter Amber Sky is set to make his Australian debut and could be joined by Group One winner Flamberge who has returned to the stable after a stint with Darren Weir.
"They will both trial at Werribee on Monday (in jump-outs) and if they come through it well they'll both run," Zahra said.