Big race jockey Dwayne Dunn will make a flying visit to Sydney on Saturday to test out two of Team Hawkes’ juveniles heading towards the major two year old races during the Autumn Carnival.
The leading Melbourne jockey has had a long time association with the Hawkes stable in the southern capital and has been booked to ride Magic Albert colt Mawahibb in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) and Fastnet Rock filly Lake Geneva in the Group 3 $150,000 Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
Dunn is currently in a head and head battle at the top of the 2014 – 2015 Melbourne jockey’s premiership table on twenty-four wins, hot on the heels of Craig Williams and Damien Oliver, both on twenty-five wins.
A good performance by either or both youngsters could see them line in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28 or the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill three weeks later.
“It’s a bit two-edged whether they stay up in Sydney or they bring them down for the Diamond,” Dunn told AAP.
“That’s why John (Hawkes) wanted me to get a feel of them, for the Diamond and the Slipper.”
The training partnership of John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes is looking for back to back wins in the Golden Slipper after their filly Mossfun took out the major prize at last year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival and is anxious to see how first starter Mawahibb performs on Saturday.
Mawahibb is a half brother to Mossfun and even though he has yet to face the starter, Dunn has already had a feel of the colt when he was based at Hawkes’ Flemington stables.
“The colt has been down here (in Melbourne) through the system,” Dunn said.
“He’s shown us he is a top quality galloper and I’m expecting him to run really well.”
Mawahibb has had a recent barrier trial with James McDonald in the saddle over 900m at Rosehill when he ran second to Canonbury Stakes rival Outreach, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden.
Lake Geneva has also had a barrier trial leading up to her race day debut, finishing second to the Chris Waller trained Always Allison, who is also facing the starter for the first time in the Widden Stakes.
Dunn has also picked up the rides on the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Spacecraft in the $85,000 TAB Rewards Handicap (BenchMark 90) (1500m) and Black Revolver for Chris Waller in the $85,000 Bob Rowles Tribute (BenchMark 80) (1200m).
Mawahibb is rated a $4 chance for the Canonbury Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au in the small six horse field that has the Snowden trained Outreach the $2.90 favourite ahead of Gai Waterhouse’s Vancouver at $3.70.
Also under double figures is the John O‘Shea trained Chamarel at $5.50 and Ulster at $7 while Cashing Up is the outsider of the field at $21.
While in the Widden Stakes Lake Geneva is marked at $8 behind the Waterhouse trained Giulietta at $3.60, Fireworks at $4.80 and Tempt Me Not from the Bart and James Cummings stable at $7.50.