Day At The Track

Hu's big odds for the Oaks?

03:43 PM 13 Apr 2016 NZST
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Lance Justice
Lance Justice, pictured driving Smoken up to win the Minuteman Free for All, will steer rising stable star Hu Hu R U in Saturday night's Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks.

Harness racing trainer Lance Justice has high hopes for filly Hu Hu R U despite bookmakers offering huge odds in early fixed price markets for Saturday night’s Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks Final.

TAB.com.au opened the Melton-trained filly $41 to win the $150,000 Group 1 three-year-old fillies’ classic despite the daughter of Jereme's Jet breaking 55 seconds and recording the fastest last half-mile behind Mark Purdon’s highly acclaimed A Piccadilly Princess in Oaks heat three last Friday night.

Hu Hu R U has been ultra-impressive since arriving in Australia, the former Kiwi pacer's overall record an impressive 11 starts for seven wins and three minor placings.

In last Friday night's heat, Hu Hu R U was taken off the arm from gate seven before storming home to run second, her last half recorded at 54.89secs and her last quarter at 27.45secs.

“She’s got a really good turn of foot as you saw last week. She actually ran one of the quickest last halves of the night … she’s very, very quick,” Justice told RSN’s Gait Speed this morning.

“She’s a very good horse. If she takes the next step she could potentially be the best,” he added.

Hu Hu R U has drawn barrier 10 for the Oaks Final, giving Justice plenty to think about. Does he sit back and allow Hu Hu R U to close hard at the end, or will the one-one be up for grabs if he makes an early move?

The one thing that is clear is Justice says the filly has pulled up a treat from her super first-up hit-out.

“She’s pulled up really well and should improve a little bit more for Saturday night," he said.

Brian Gath  to his credit did a great job looking after her last week. He didn’t over-punish her.  Basically he chased her just on her own urgings.”

The early money for the Oaks Final has been for Emma Stewart-trained Heavens Trend, who drew gate three. She opened $2.20 with TAB.com.au and is into a $1.80 favourite, while opening favourite A Piccadilly Princess has eased from $1.80 out to $2.20. Both impressively won their heats.

That pair stifles the betting with $11 chances Im Wrongly Accused from the Matthew Craven stable, also a heat winner, and Gary Hoban-trained Dancingwithsierra, who ran second in her heat behind Heavens Trend, on the next line.

The Oaks is Race 7 (9.02pm) on Saturday night's 10-event program at Tabcorp Park Melton and carries a $20,000 First 4 jackpot with TAB.com.au.

Cody Winnell 

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