The 2015 Missile Stakes odds of Messene continue to lengthen and the Team Hawkes-trained gelding is now out to $3.40 to return to racing with a win in the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Messene has not been seen at the races since he beat home just a single runner in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in September of last year, but he impressed onlookers with his performance in two barrier trials at Rosehill Gardens on July 21 and the same venue earlier this week.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes is thrilled with the way that Messene has come up for his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he told Racing Ahead that the Lonhro gelding is sure to take plenty of benefit from his first-up win in the 2015 Missile Stakes.
“I am very happy,” Hawkes said.
“He has been off the scene for a while, but he is not a heavy horse and he is very light on his feet.
“His first trial was good and his second trial was great.
“He has come back very good, but he is very short.
“I know that he is favourite at the moment and he could sneak away with it, but as the prep goes on and the further he gets the better he will be.
“He is forward enough to go into this race, but he will definitely improve upon it.”
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) was the goal for Messene heading into the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but Team Hawkes are setting their sights lower with the seven-year-old ahead of this year’s campaign.
Hawkes confirmed that there was no exact target for Messene at this stage of his preparation and they will continue to take it one race at a time after he resumes in the Missile Stakes tomorrow.
“We are just going to wait and see,” Hawkes said.
“We are just taking him race by race.
“I know that he is a one-time Doncaster favourite and he hasn’t lost the ability, but he has been off the scene for a while and there is no real target for him.
“We are just going to see how he goes.”
Messene opened at 2015 Missile Stakes odds of $2.80, but he has been a constant drifter in the past 48 hours and he is now out to a quote of $3.40.
Temple Of Boom has been a clear market mover in the Missile Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes and he is on the second line of betting at $4.60 from Weary ($5.50), Lord Leofric ($7), Burbero ($8) and Liberty’s Choice ($9).