Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes believes that his three year old Divine Prophet can take full advantage of his weight concession and be very competitive against the older horses in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Divine Prophet is the only three year old in the twelve horse field and will only have to carry 55.5kg under the weight for age scale while the older brigade will have 59kg on their backs except for the two mares, Jameka and Miss Rose De Lago, who have 57kg.
Divine Prophet will be having his first run back since winning the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival and Hawkes said the he has the credentials to be very competitive.
“It is a very even race. There is not a standout, but we get the weight concession and we go good at Caulfield. He will run well,” Hawkes told racing.com.
“He has done really well.”
Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, know that a good quality three year old can win these weight for age races after having previous success with Yell in 2003 and more recently with All Too Hard in 2013.
“We have been a bit lucky with the Orr. We have won it with a couple of other three year olds,” Hawkes said.
“I think Yell won it and the good horse All Too Hard won it a few years ago.”
“So we know what it takes for a three year old to win the CF Orr.”
“We’ve got a young horse on the way up so it should be a good test to see where we are going with him.”
Divine Prophet wasn’t extended in two recent 1000m barrier trials for a third at Warwick Farm on January 23 and a sixth at Rosehill on January 31 and is well in the betting for the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes at $8.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Darren Weir trained multiple Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart sits at the top of the market order at $3.80 just ahead of Australia Stakes winner Malaguerra at $4 and Lucky Hussler at $6.50.
The Peter Gelagotis trained Malaguerra had the better of Black Heart Bart when they finished first and second in the Group 2 $200,000 Browns Sawdust And Savings Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 27 but Black Heart Bart has a better record at Caulfield and could easily reverse the placings.
Black Hart Bart has won twice over the same course and distance as the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes, including a win in the Group 1 $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.