Caulfield Cup favourite Master Of Wine finished fourth is a Rosehill barrier trial this morning but Team Hawkes is yet to finalize a 2020 Spring Carnival opener for the English import.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said that Master Of Wine would be set for both the Group 1 $5m Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17 and the Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Wayne Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, said that Master Of Wine would more than likely kick off his 2020 Cups campaign in Sydney before heading south to their Flemington stables in Melbourne.
“The Caulfield and Melbourne Cups are certainly on the agenda for Master Of Wine but where he is going to run first up, don’t know,” Wayne Hawkes told RSN Central.
“We are sitting back and are going to wait for the eleventh hour before we start making any decisions. Probably stay in Sydney. There are plenty of races that you might run through before you into Melbourne late.”
“I would think he would stay in Sydney before he comes to Melbourne.”
“We have an issue with going back and forth (across the NSW – Victoria border) so we have to keep our cards pretty close to our chest this time which is unfortunate for the people who are wanting to pre-post and have an early bet and everything like that.”
Hawkes was happy with the way Master Of Wine, with Tommy Berry in the saddle, hit the line when fourth in a 1030m Rosehill barrier trial this morning after the six year old missed the start by three lengths.
Master Of Wine has a history of barrier problems but Hawkes didn’t seem to be too worried about his tardy getaway.
“He has always had a little bit of an issue with the barriers. He came from England like that,” Hawkes said.
“Tommy said that he was mad fresh but once he got going he circled them and hit the line quite strong.”
Master Of Wine worked his way up through the grades during the 2020 Sydney Autumn Carnival and collected a win in the Group 3 $350,000 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and was then spelled after finishing fourth to Addeybb in the Group 1 $2m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day Two of The Championships.
Early betting for the Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Master Of Wine as the $9 favourite while in the Melbourne Cup the import is sharing the second line of betting at $17.
Early betting for the 2020 Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $9 Master Of Wine, $11 Russian Camelot, $12 Verry Elleegant, $17 Colette, $19 Shared Ambition, $21 Surprise Baby, Dashing Willoughby, $26 Aktau, Kinane, King Of Leogrance, Regal Power, San Huberto, Young Rascal, $31 Buckhurst, Constantinople, Mugatoo, Quick Thinker, Vow And Declare, $34 Arcadia Queen, Finche, Vanna Girl, Zebrwoski, $41 or better the rest.