Love Conquers All came oh so close in the Doomben 10,000 and Michael Hakes is expecting him to find that extra bit of strength in the Stradbroke Handicap this weekend.
In the 10,000 Love Conquers All looked beaten for all money when Beaded overtook him halfway down the straight but he showed just how much determination he has by fighting back and almost grabbing the win on the line.
Hawkes says everything has gone 100 percent after the run and things are looking up for this weekend.
“He’s well, he pulled up really good after his last start, looking forward to going into Saturday.”
“He galloped at Caloundra this morning and pulled up well, nice and bright.”
He says his runs this year have consistently fallen just short but at the same time punters can’t be too disappointed with the performances he’s given.
“He’s lost no admires, three Group 1 seconds this prep, he’s like a caged lion he just keeps attacking the line, he’s a fighter,” Hawkes said.
While Love Conquers All could pretty much dictate the tempo of the race in a small Doomben 10,000 field the Stradbroke will be an entirely different story.
With a capacity line-up of 18 barriers become absolutely vital.
“Barriers are always important, I’d love to draw a decent gate, that’s the next step and we’ll worry about the track after that,” Hawkes said.
One thing that’s certain though is he’ll be in peak form with the Stradbroke the ultimate goal from day one this campaign.
“We’re only bringing him up here for the two runs, whatever he did come 10,000 he’ll improve on,” Hawkes said.
“He’s gone ahead, a lot more relaxed I can’t fault him at all.”
For the first time during the Brisbane Winter Carnival the weather could play a big role this weekend and fortunately for Hawkes he’s one of the few who’s content to see some rain fall.
“He loves both types of ground, that’s probably his best attribute, if it rains, we’ll take it,” he said.
Beaded is the current favourite for the 2011 Stradbroke Handicap with Love Conquers All not far away.
The final field and barrier draw will be determined tomorrow morning.