The 2016 Australian Cup is an option for Hauraki, but only if he can show trainer John O’Shea that he is capable of producing his best form the Melbourne way of going.
Hauraki made a slow start to his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival with lacklustre performances in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 5 and the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 19, but he returned to a semblance of his best form with a narrow second behind stablemate Complacent in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) on October 3.
The Reset gelding was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17, but he was never able to get into the race after missing the start and trainer John O’Shea elected to send the four-year-old to the spelling paddock rather than press on to the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Hauraki has never produced his best form in Melbourne, but O’Shea is open to giving the promising galloper an opportunity in the Group 1 Australian Cup (200m) as long as he improves over the Melbourne way of going.
“He was good,” O’Shea said of Hauraki’s spring campaign.
“To be fair he didn’t winter well and we were sort of just chasing our tail with him right up until he ran well in the Craven and then missed the kick in the Caulfield Cup.
“He has really spelled well this time and I think that he might be an improver.
“He will just stay around here.
“We have put him in the Australian Cup, but to be fair he has never raced well in Melbourne.
“He will probably around in the Ranvet and if he was going really well the opposite way and the opportunity presented itself to run in the Australian Cup than we would take it.”
Hauraki made a very slow start to his autumn campaign in Melbourne last year and he produced very poor efforts in the Hill Plate (1300m) at Sandown on February 7 and the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
He returned to his best form with a second place finish in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14 and he took out the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) on March 28 before he finished a gallant second behind Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.