Hughes looking ahead
By Michael Guerin
It is never easy to get Brian Hughes to look too far ahead with a horse.
But Hot And Treacherous has been so impressive every time he steps out on the track the man they call Bunty admits he has to start thinking about some bigger targets.
One of the north’s most hyped maidens made a winning debut at Alexandra Park on Thursday night, beating his recent workouts adversary and another horse with a maiden win just around the corner in Marathon Man.
There was nothing special about their time on a cold and wet winter night and Hot And Treacherous had actually been reeling off faster sectionals in his recent Pukekohe workout wins.
But there is a stamp on class about the two-year-old son of Captaintreacherous that is hard to miss, his win aptly coming on the day it was announced another of his sire’s sons, Captain Crunch is coming here to join Nevele R and Alabar.
So impressive has Hot And Treacherous been the usually reserved Hughes, who trains the gelding with his son Gareth, admits he might have to steer him toward the rescheduled Sires’ Stakes and Sales Series races to be run in September and October.
“That might be the aim if he keeps going well,” said Hughes as he awaited his last young prospect to return after the debut win.
Gareth might have been doing the leading back but laughs and points to Dad when asked who does the majority of day to day work on this one, always a good indication of where a horse stands in the pecking order of the stable’s maidens.
Hughes paid $60,000 for Hot And Treacherous at the Karaka sales last year, buying him off Breckon Farms as the second foal from lightly-raced mare Hothooves.
While he has looked a natural in all his workouts the delay and then rescheduling of the key juvenile races from this season to being early next season probably aids Hot And Treacherous and like many in that situation he could have a busy spring and early summer.
It is rare a maiden race provides the star turn at Alexandra Park but he was the horse who had everybody buzzing but closer to the top of the rankings system it was the Dickie team who continued their sensational form since lock down.
They won two races again with Callie’s Delight and Tricky Ric taking out the night’s feature pace and trot respectively.
Callie’s Delight beat On The Cards was manners and speed, working to the lead early and controlling the race and then licking home her last 800m in 55.3 seconds which meant that On The Card, sitting last in his comeback race was left an impossible mission to catch her.
“She is racing so well and these wins are great for her future broodmare career,” said co-trainer John Dickie.
Tricky Ric got his manners right while stablemate Kay Cee didn’t, with the latter galloping late in the race when challenging the eventual winner.
Team Dickie still quinellaed the race, with Tricky Ric leading home Sertorius while Kay Cee was disqualified, a rare combination of result for any stable with three horses in a race.
The win won’t be Tricky Ric’s last as it was penalty free because of driver Craig Smith’s junior exempt claim and while the former Jewels runner-up won’t rush through to open class he should well and truly be there by the end of this year if not sooner.