Never too old to perform

The ageless French Hussler is ready to race boldly in Longreach

WINNING WAYS: French Hussler once won a Birdsville Cup and he's vying for another win on May 30 but this time in Longreach.

WINNING WAYS: French Hussler once won a Birdsville Cup and he's vying for another win on May 30 but this time in Longreach.


French Hussler is defying his age to race competitively and connections believe he will feature in a Longreach race on May 30.


RISING 10-year-old French Hussler is primed for his latest assignment, according to the guy who knows him well.

French Hussler (Hussonet-Paris Plaits) is the topweighted contestant in the Kate Deane Patron Appreciation Open (1200m) in Longreach on May 30.

Barcaldine-based trainer Todd Austin believes the gelding is racing better than ever despite his age and is ready to go to work.

"He might be the old guy but he's the soundest horse in the stable," Austin said.

"He's doing better than ever and he's been a treat to train and he will go OK in Longreach."

French Hussler has started 83 times in a lengthy career, collecting 15 wins and 23 placings along the way for earnings of $252,145.

Originally trained in Victoria by Matthew Williams, French Hussler was transferred to the Rockhampton stables of John Wiggington midway through 2016.

He stayed with the Wiggington team until a year ago when he joined the Austin stable.

"My brother-in-law is a vet and he knew of the horse and thought he would be a handy type for us and he was right," Austin said.

"The horse has won a few for us including the Birdsville Cup and I wish I had a few more like him."

At his most recent appointment French Hussler was successful over 1100 metres on his home track, beating stablemate Media Vita.

Dan Ballard has retained the mount on French Hussler and Austin is also keeping rider Brooke Richardson and Media Vita (Denman-Notker) together after they teamed for a Longreach win on May 3 before their last start second behind French Hussler.

Austin is also sending Cool Rain (Matthew Gray), Dragon Fire (Kate Patch), Long Story Short, Percy Pickles, Wicked Express and Dragon In The North (all to be ridden by Dan McGillivray), Sheriff Kendell (Ballard) and Show 'Em (Richardson) to Longreach.

Country legend Charlie Prow will saddle the winner of the Longreach Jockey Club Benchmark 65 (1000m) if form students are correct.

Tipsters are freely forecasting a win for the Prow-trained I Am A Lad (Daunting Lad-I'm A Telesto), another ride for McGillivray.

I Am A Lad has won five times over the distance and importantly he has been successful twice and placed four times in seven outings over the Longreach 1000m.

Lately he has been in good touch with a Longreach second on March 21 before a last start third there on May 3.

Claiming apprentice Emma Bell will ride favourite Lepreezy (Better Than Ready-Licenced To Chill) in the Chris Warren Homes Three-Year-Old (1100m) in Rockhampton on May 30.

She has been retained for the Angela Stephens-trained filly after riding her to successs at Callaghan Park on May 19.

It was Lepreezy's seventh win in 12 starts and she will surpass $200,000 in prizemoney if successful, or even placed second.


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