Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has revealed that Maastricht is a chance of contesting the 2015 Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 7 if she performs well in the Café Culture And Insitu Furniture Handicap at Canterbury on Friday night.
Maastricht was sent to the spelling paddock after she finished second behind subsequent Crown Oaks winner Set Square in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18, but has impressed Team Hawkes since she began preparations for her autumn campaign and worked home well under a tight hold in a barrier trial over 808 metres at Warwick Farm on January 27.
Hawkes admits that the 1250 metres at Canterbury of the Café Culture And Insitu Furniture Handicap is well short of Maastricht’s best trip, but he is still expecting the Mastercraftsman filly to produce a forward performance and show that she is deserving of a maiden start at Group 1 level in the Australian Guineas.
“She is going to run Friday night and that will point us in the right direction, whether we come back to Melbourne and head maybe towards a Guineas,” Hawkes said.
“She is a great Melbourne filly and she goes great Melbourne way, it is actually her first time running in Sydney and it will be interesting to see how she goes.
“She looks fantastic, she has done well and we are really happy with her.
“Her only undoing might be the short trip around Canterbury, but she is a high class filly.
“We opted not to run her in the Oaks to look after her and hopefully she will pay us some extra dividends.”
Maastricht made her racing debut with a narrow win at Echuca on July 7 last year and was not seen at the races against until she recorded a strong victory in the 49 Days To Bendigo Cup Handicap (1400m) at Bendigo on September 10.
The three-year-old received a massive amount of betting support in the lead-up to the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 4 and she looked the winner at the 300 metre mark, but was unable to get in front of Fontein Ruby.
Maastricht was far from disgraced when second behind Set Square in the Ethereal Stakes, but Team Hawkes elected not to push on to the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) with the promising filly and save her for an autumn campaign.
Team Hawkes are chasing their first win in the Australian Guineas after finishing second with Freemason in 2000 and third with Outgate in 2001 and Lease in 1999.