Classic targets for Hughes pair

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Brian and Gareth Hughes left Alexandra Park on Friday night happy men after they took out a third of the card with a couple of exciting three-year-olds.

The Honey Queen kicked off the night in style for the South Auckland conditioners when making light work of her opposition in the Hydroflow Mobile Pace (1609m), running away to a comfortable seven length victory.

Driver Joshua Dickie launched the filly off the gate to take an early lead, where he was able to dictate the terms of the race which allowed his charge to sprint away to an effortless win.

It was the second win on-end for the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven after she recorded her maiden victory at the Auckland track a week prior.

Her connections were pleased with the win and they are now eyeing some loftier targets with their filly in the next month, including the Gr.2 Peter Breckon Memorial Caduceus Club Stakes (2200m) and Gr.1 Pascoes The Jewellers Northern Oaks (2700m).

“It was a really nice win tonight,” Gareth Hughes said. “Coming back from late December racing those good three-year-old fillies, it is a decent drop back.

“You have still got to go out and do it and she has done that twice now in her last two starts, she has been pretty impressive.

“She got chucked in the deep end in her first couple of starts back this time in. She went straight into a Sires’ Stakes heat and then the Group One fillies classic and then the Sires’ Stakes Final. She went nice races in all of them without getting a lot of luck.”

Later on the card Hot And Treacherous created an upset when downing short-priced favourite Krug to win the NZB Standardbred Karaka Yearling Sales 14 Feb Mobile Pace (1609m).

The Captaintreacherous gelding drew handy in barrier one and driver Maurice McKendry was able to utilise his gate speed and hold his position to take an early lead.

He was kept up to the mark by Matt Damon on his outside, but he was able to show his mental fortitude when holding out his challenger and a fast-finishing Krug to win by a half-head.

Hot And Treacherous had won two of his last three starts at Cambridge Raceway and Hughes said he appreciated his ace draw on Friday.

“He has been racing in pretty good form of late and to go back to the Park and pick one up is pretty nice with what is coming up for him,” Hughes said.

“In a fortnight there is the Derby Prelude and then the following week there is the Derby.

“Going into these races coming up you just hope you are going to get a bit of luck and hopefully he can be thereabouts.”

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