Lake Huka lives up to trial form
Laurie Laxon-trained $56 shot has a good association with jockey Alan Munro
LAKE HUKA, who won his trial last Tuesday morning, reproduced that form to charge home a smart winner in Sunday's $60,000 Class 4 Division 2 over the 1,400m.
He was expertly ridden by English jockey Alan Munro, who seems to hold the key to getting the best out of Lake Huka.
In the three times the pair combined between June and September last year, they hit paydirt once, at their first partnership which came in a Kranji Stakes D race over 1,200m.
The winning styles between then and Sunday were almost identical - switch off at the rear and only to have the last crack inside the last 200m.
On Sunday, Lake Huka started to take closer order from the 700m mark to sit within striking distance 400m later.
From there, he looked dangerous, even if favourite Ace King (Glen Boss) looked to have the race all sewn up when he outgunned the leader Sand Bank (Michael Rodd).
But it was the $56 shot Lake Huka who came best over the last 200m to stick his neck out right on the line. It came in the nick of time, as long shot Golazo (Derreck David) was producing a barnstorming run. Ace King had to settle for third.
With winning trainer Laurie Laxon still back in New Zealand, the job of talking up Lake Huka's latest success was left in the good hands of his assistant-trainer, Shane Ellis.
"His last two runs (eighth and seventh but not far behind the winners) were better than what it looked like on paper," said Ellis.
"We stepped him up to 1,400m again and he hit the line good. There was a good tempo to the race and that helped him get home first. Munro has a good record on him and he rode him a treat."
While Ellis said the genuine tempo seemed to suit the gelding, Munro said he had to contend with a lack of pace early in the race.
"There was not much speed early, and he ran relaxed at the back," he said.
"He showed a good finish to win and that was exactly what he did at his last win with me."
Lake Huka has now brought his record to four wins and five placings from 24 runs for stakes earnings of about $170,000.