Weekend Hussler Racehorse
One of the most underrated thoroughbreds in Australian racing history, Weekend Hussler was every bit a champion.
The son of Hussonet had only 21 starts, which is why he might be overlooked, but he recorded six Group 1 wins in a single season, which equaled the record of Kingston Town.
A dynamic three-year-old, Weekend Hussler was a punters’ favourite and although you didn’t get a big price for these wins, he made everyone stand up and take notice.
Weekend Hussler’s Record
Weekend Hussler made a fair start to his career when running fourth on debut at Sale. However, he was about to hit top gear by winning nine of his next 10 starts.
The winning streak started at Cranbourne in September 2007 before posting back-to-back wins at Sandown. His biggest test was to come in his following start; the Caulfield Guineas. He passed with flying colours when beating Scenic Blast to score his first Group 1 win.
He didn’t stop there. The Caulfield Guineas was the first of six Group 1 wins during that preparation. The Ross McDonald-trained gelding won the Ascot Vale Stakes before running 10th in the Emirates Stakes behind Magnus. He was quickly becoming a horse to follow after two Group 1’s during his first preparation, and he would strike immediately in the autumn.
He got the better of Magnus when winning the Oakleigh Plate first-up in February 2008 and he added three more Group 1’s to his record. Weekend Hussler would win the Newmarket Handicap, Randwick Guineas and George Ryder Stakes in subsequent starts.
It would bring a close to one of the best first-season records in history. However, not every three-year-old comes back as an older horse, so all eyes were on how he progressed through the winter.
His return came in August where he finished second in the JJ Liston Stakes at Caulfield. He followed it up with three consecutive wins, including the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (now a Group 1), Craiglee Stakes and culminating in a Group 1 Underwood Stakes victory.
Sadly, it would be the final win of Weekend Hussler’s career. He had been fighting injury problems throughout his career and they finally caught up with him. He ran eighth in the Turnbull Stakes, 12th in the Caulfield Cup and fourth and fifth respectively in two more Group 1 races.
He had over a year off between 2009 and 2010 before retuning in the Oakleigh Plate. The effort told when running 11th and it could be another nine months before he raced again, which came in the Gilgai Stakes where he ran 10th.
After it was all said and done, Weekend Hussler won 12 of his 21 races and earned connections more than $3 million.
The team behind Weekend Hussler
Weekend Hussler was purchased for $80,000 from Arrowfield Stud. He was trained by Ross McDonald, who rose to fame from Weekend Hussler’s success.
Brad Rawiller was his jockey throughout most of his career, excluding four runs. Without Rawiller in the saddle, he suffered defeat in three of his four starts.
Weekend Hussler Achievements and Statistics
Due to his record-equaling three-year-old season, Weekend Hussler was awarded Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year in 2008. He also won Champion Three-Year-Old honours.
Weekend Hussler Statistics
Race record: 12 wins from 21 starts
Career earnings: $3,096,400
Group 1 wins: 7
Breeding: Hussonet x. Weekend Beauty
Trainer: Ross McDonald
Jockey: Brad Rawiller
Breeders: Arrowfield Stud
Owners: Ms J Kewish, J Bath, Stoneworkz Racing Syn, S Rush, W Stewart, G O’Donoghue, L O’Connell, P Troedel, Ms J Stosius & M Moloney
Years active: 2007-2010