Todd Smart lovestruck with Love Shuck

Todd Smart with Clan O’Sullivan hopeful Love Shuck.

A strong winner at the trials, Todd Smart is excited to debut Love Shuck in Friday’s $50,000 Gold Coast Turf Club Clan O’Sullivan (1000m) at Thoroughbred Park.

The new race for two-year-olds is the first leg in the $400,000 Canberra Speed Series and has attracted a quality field with entrants from some of Sydney’s biggest stables, as well as a number of local hopes.

Smart’s Love Shuck was a $6,000 purchase and looks a bargain after a strong win at the Goulburn trials a fortnight ago.

“I’ve got a really nice opinion of him.” Smart said. “He trialed beautifully and his owners are rightfully excited.”

“We bought him at the Inglis HTBA sale back in May and he’s just flourished.”

Love Shuck, a son of Mikki Isle (JPN), has drawn the widest barrier in 8 but Smart remains positive about his talented two-year-old’s chances.

“Drawn the widest, it’ll be about how he jumps out and how he balances up.” Smart said. “He goes pretty good, if things go his way he’s a genuine chance.”

“Our ultimate goal for him is the Black Opal so hopefully he can run at least top two and he’s automatically qualified.”

The $6,000 purchase, Love Shuck, will line up alongside gallopers from some of premier Sydney stables in James Cummings, Waterhouse & Bott and Mahar & Eustice.

The Gold Coast Turf Club Clan O’Sullivan is the first leg in the Aquis Farm Canberra Speed Series which culminates in the 50th Anniversary of the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes in March 2023.

Later in the day, in the TAB Federal (1400m), Trooper Knuckle will be looking for four consecutive wins for in-form Trainer Keith Dryden.

A half-brother to dual Canberra Cup winner Macknuckle, Trooper Knuckle was a four-start maiden before three consecutive wins across the border in Queanbeyan.

While the TAB Federal represents a step up in class for the five-year-old, his Trainer’s form on his home track is hard to ignore.

Dryden sits atop the 2022/2023 Canberra Trainer Premierships with 16 wins, nine wins ahead of his nearest rival in Norm Gardner.

Thoroughbred Park will host a ten-race program this Friday, with the first at 12:55pm. For full fields, click here.