Halusa Launches Kalgoorlie Bid

Ashley Grace will launch a bold feature race bid when Halusa makes his highly anticipated return in the Goldfields Toyota Cup (1300m) on Sunday.

The hobby trainer holds lofty ambitions for Halusa with Kalgoorlie’s premier sprint: the $120,000 Listed Hannans Handicap firmly in his sights.

Helusa has been a star since joining Grace’s team earlier this year, rebounding strongly after a cracked pelvis kept him out of racing for 12-months.

Relishing his new environment the six-year-old boasts an unbeaten record in Kalgoorlie, last month’s third straight win an easy romp.

Despite lumping 60kg he was never challenged, leading from barrier-to-post and defeating his next rival, Run For Rum, by 5 ¼ lengths.

Grace is excited by Halusa’s return, but says the son of Oratorio faces will have to overcome the biggest test of his career.

“He will have to prove himself because he has never been in a 70-plus race before,” Grace said.

“The grand plan after Sunday is to tackle the Kambalda Cup and then we can look at the Hannans.

“He faces a big test against horses like Prohurst Express and Flying Time.

“He is some sort of horse; the best I have ever had, but we will just have to wait and see how he shapes up.

“I’m hoping everything can go well.”

Halusa suffered a minor setback after his last-start win on July 24, but Grace is confident he has the six-year-old back on track.

“He had bruising on his near side and a foot abscess on his off side fore leg,” Grace said.

“We were going to give him a break anyway, but it happened a little sooner than planned.

“He has a history of feet issues and might have carried the foot abscess in his last win.

“He might be a touch underdone, but he really hasn’t missed much work.”

Halusa has drawn perfectly in barrier two and will carry 56kg with the claim of apprentice, Mollie Clark.

Julio Santarelli