Classy stallion Hooked has continued his impressive form through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival at Moonee Valley this afternoon, charging home to win the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) by three lengths.
Jumping from the gates well, the Casino Prince entire settled in prime position on the heels of early leader Havana Rey who set a noticeably quick tempo over the back straight and rounding the bend.
Receiving an ideal run in transit, Hooked quickly pulled clear of his closest rivals and continued to open the gap down to final straight and found the line comfortably in the clear of a fast finishing Bull Point; Desert Jeuney holding on for third.
Jockey Craig Williams delivered a perfectly timed ride on Hooked in the 2014 Crystal Mile and was quick to lay the praise on trainer John Thompson for an ideal lead-in.
“I was very delighted when Ultra Thoroughbreds bought this horse and rang me up and asked me to stay with him, I couldn’t have been happier looking at his recent performances,” Williams said immediately after crossing the line.
“John Thompson was really happy with the way the horse came down; we brought him here on Tuesday morning and on his work you couldn’t have him but John knows the horse really well and happy to just tick him over.
“He’ll appreciate having that experience under race day pressure going left-handed and very happy with that win.
“He didn’t have much favours in the Epsom from the barrier draw but today we had a nice barrier draw in a very competitive race and he has got good gate speed and I got him in the right position.”
Trainer John Thompson was understandably thrilled will Hooked’s performance in the 2014 Crystal Mile and confirmed progression to the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8th.
“He just got lost here completely on Tuesday and to use Craig’s words when he came in he said well on that he’ll run last, but we’ve brought horses here before on Tuesday and they’ve had a good look around and on game day they really switch on, and thankfully he’s done the same,” Thompson said following the Crystal Mile.
The Emirates is his grand final, this was the run in between, weight-for-age probably didn’t suit us but he’s been going well and obviously the rails barrier draw and that horse giving us a nice lead there today all was in our favour.”
In winning the 2014 Crystal Mile this afternoon, Hooked came within two tenths of breaking Cabeza’s Moonee Valley track record of 1:34:78, set in 2010.