Huetor back to his best ahead of the Hollindale Stakes

It was during last year’s Brisbane winter carnival that Huetor announced himself as a top-class horse and while the Group 1 winner has travelled a rocky road since then, connections are confident they have him back to his best.

The Doomben Cup winner returns to his happy hunting ground of Queensland on Saturday where he will take on the likes of Zaaki, Atishu and the up-and-coming New Mandate in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast.

Huetor finished fourth in the corresponding race last year on his way to winning the Doomben Cup and co-trainer Peter Snowden has his sights sets on a title defence.

“He’s had a fair bit of bad luck in between that time,” Snowden said.

“He had a bad eye injury that put him out for four or five months and things just didn’t go to plan after that.

“He’s over all that now, he’s back with where it all began and hopefully he can go on with it this time.

“The race on Saturday is the race he ran in last year prior to winning in the Doomben Cup so I thought it was a good race to keep him ticking over towards that.”

Huetor arrives in Queensland off the back of some solid performances, but it was his last start third in the JRA Plate (2000m) when he charged home from back in the field that has convinced Snowden the horse has his foot on the till.

While a distance drop to 1800m on Saturday isn’t ideal, the fact the race has been moved to Caloundra while the Gold Coast track is refurbished is expected to suit Huetor.

“Caloundra, that track probably suits him better, we can ride him quiet and just let him run home and that’s when he runs his best races,” Snowden said.

“His last start was a really good effort. That was back to his old self again so I’m confident in saying he’s back to where he was.”

The stable’s Sunshine Coast team also includes smart filly Russian Conquest, who Snowden is looking forward to getting back to the races after scratching her several times due to wet tracks.

She lines up in the Gold Coast Guineas (1200m), her main carnival target, and should finally get firm footing.

“It’s very frustrating when you get a horse like her. The right races come up but when it rains you know you’re out of play so we’ve had to tread water and tread water,” Snowden said.

“But she looks amazing. She’s got a good draw (barrier seven) and she gets every chance to run well.”

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