Last start all the way winner Hawkshot can fly the gates and make light work of the outside barrier in the Group 1 $1m Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington today.
Hawkshot, with Mark Zahra in the saddle, was quick to take up the running to lead all of the way to win the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9 and Lindsay Park’s head trainer David Hayes can see a repeat performance in the Australian Guineas.
Hayes is not worried about Hawkshot drawing the outside gate in the sixteen horse Australian Guineas field and said the Zahra was hoping for an outside draw.
“I wouldn’t be worried about the gate. I was talking to Mark (Zahra) last week and he was hoping that he would draw wide,” Hayes said.
“I expect he can cruise across in his own time and doesn’t have to rush and he will either slot or lead depending on the tempo.”
“I don’t think the outside barrier for Hawkshot is a disadvantage because he’s a horse that tends to over-race.”
“The other day he flowed forward, his manners were quite good and he won really easily and he’ll flow forward again.”
“The exciting part about this horse is when he gets to 2000 metres and a mile-and-a-half being by Fiorente and hopefully he can take another step, behave himself and we can head to the good races in Sydney.”
Hawkshot is well fancied in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and is on the fourth line of betting at $5.50 for the Australian Guineas while the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig will also saddle up the $4.60 favourite Amphitrite and the $26 outsider Long Leaf.
Amphitrite will get a great run from barrier four with Craig Williams in the saddle while Long Leaf has drawn around the middle of the pack at six with Ben Melham to ride.