Rageese will get his first taste of weight-for-age racing in the 2016 Australia Stakes and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is bullish about the chances of the colt in the Group 2 event at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Rageese started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a flat fourth in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 8 and he won a maiden at Wyong on August 30 before he went on to run well without winning in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12, the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at the same venue on September 26 and the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10.
Hawkes told Racing Ahead that he was very happy with the performance of Rageese in the Caulfield Guineas and he believes that type of form is enough to put the Street Cry colt right in the finish of the 2016 Australia Stakes.
“His Caulfield Guineas run was super,” Hawkes said.
“He came to the corner smoking his pipe and swinging and I actually sat up and pricked my ears and he only got beaten by two lengths.
“To be fair, Press Statement is as good a benchmark as any horse and there are not many three-year-olds around that are as good as him.
“To get beat two lengths was a good effort.
“He is great, he is well and he is a big tough horse.
“If he puts it altogether he is going to be right in the finish on Saturday.”
There are plenty of options for three-year-olds during the Autumn Racing Carnival, but Hawkes said that the stable is yet to decide the exact path that they will follow with Rageese.
Hawkes said that he will wait until after the Australia Stakes before he maps out a plan with Rageese and he revealed that races like the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) are all potential options.
“I just want to see how he runs on Saturday,” Hawkes said.
“We could have very easily kept him in and headed towards the Derby with him, but we opted to stop with him and give him a spell.
“It is up to him what he wants to do and how far he wants to go.
“He is only a three-year-old taking on the older horses and there are a couple of good horses up the top.”
Rageese is currently available at 2016 Australia Stakes odds of $9 with Ladbrokes and he is on the sixth line of betting behind Rebel Dane ($3.30), Durendal ($7), Hucklebuck ($7.50), Trust In A Gust ($8) and Holler ($8).