A full field of twelve runners will sprint down the Flemington straight today on a Good 4 rated track in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m).
The Team Hawkes trained Our Boy Malachi from barrier five with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle remains the $4.50 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au in an open betting race that has five runners under the $10 mark.
Sharing the second line of betting at $6 are multiple Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee and Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback ahead of the Peter Gelagotis trained Malaguerra at $8 and Canberrra sprinter Fell Swoop at $8.50.
Our Boy Malachi has been heavily supported in the Darley Classic, firming in from $6 and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes can’t see him having any problems facing the Flemington straight for the first time coming off a last start win in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah For Lovers Of Tea Caulfield Sprint (1000m) at Caulfield on October 15.
“He was the first time at Caulfield the other day too. Most of your best horses are pretty adaptable to most things,” Hawkes told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“Dwayne will have him where he is happy and balanced. He is certainly versatile and you need to be a bit like that up the straight.”
Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, said that Our Boy Malachi is racing as good ever and holds a special place in the stable.
“You can’t go any better and you can’t make excuses for winner and his record in ridiculous,” Hawkes said.
“When he came to us he had won twelve of fourteen, should have won thirteen from fourteen. I think he has won five of six Group races for us.”
“When you have an old eight year old gelding come out and just blows them away, he would have beaten any horse on that day, it would not have mattered what was in the race.”
“It is a bit special when you have those great old horses to do what he did.”
“He can’t be any better, he is as good as he can be. They are a very even bunch, but we are missing Chautauqua, it would have been great to have him in there, but he is not there.”
“It will be a great race.”
The Mick Price trained Lankan Rupee has had one run back from a long spell for a third to Our Boy Malachi in the Caulfield Sprint and is looking to win his first race since taking out the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington in February 2015.