Home

Second Stakes target for Young Lionel

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
Jarrad Noske rides Young Lionel to victory in last year’s $120,000 Bunbury Stakes (1400m). Trainer Lou Luciani is hoping the eight-year-old gelding can make it back-to-back titles.
Camera IconJarrad Noske rides Young Lionel to victory in last year’s $120,000 Bunbury Stakes (1400m). Trainer Lou Luciani is hoping the eight-year-old gelding can make it back-to-back titles. Credit: David Bailey

Lou Luciani and gelding Young Lionel will attempt to win back-to-back $120,000 Bunbury Stakes (1400m) titles on Sunday at the Bunbury Turf Club.

The Capel-based duo stunned the field last year when they went from seventh on the turn to claim victory in the illustrious sprint.

This year the eight-year-old will jump from barrier three in a field which includes Daniel Morton’s pair Red Ora and early race favourite Man Booker.

Young Lionel returned from a spell on Friday, March 3, trialling well at Bunbury across 1000m with Jarrad Noske in the saddle.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

The pair will team up again on Sunday and Young Lionel will be an outside chance, according to Luciani.

“It is a bit tougher than last year,” he said.

“He is now a bit older and there are a few up and coming horses in this race.

“But he has a bit of experience and is a tough campaigner, so I wouldn’t underestimate him.”

Luciani said Young Lionel often performed well after a break and that was why they entered him in the Stakes first-up after a spell of more than two months.

“There are a few races which suit him after this as well that we are looking at,” he said.

“The weights for the Stakes suit his handicap as well.”

Luciani’s other important runner for the day will be three-year-old gelding Geiger Gem who will start from barrier 12 in the $100,000 Rangeview Stud WA Breeders’ Classic (1400m).

“He likes the (1400m) distance,” Luciani said.

“He is a bit behind where we would like him fitness wise.

“He is a more of a wait and hope sort of chance.”

Geiger Gem is looking for his third win from just the eight starts and will also have Noske take the saddle on the day.

South West Group 1 winning jockey Damian Lane will ride one of the favourites, Variation, who has three wins from seven starts and won the WA Guineas back in November.

Warwick and champion jockey William Pike will team up to try to win the classic through the in-form Quilista.

With three consecutive victories, the three-year-old filly is in fine form and will be one of the runners to beat on Sunday.

Luciani also confirmed five-year-old gelding Tonto would once again race in the XXXX Gold Bunbury Cup next Thursday, having come second in last year’s big race.

“He has been performing well and has been set up for the Cup a fair way out,” Luciani said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails