Singapore based Corey Brown will ride Laser Hawk, a late inclusion for the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Brown was set to ride the pre post favourite Rock Sturdy who was a shock non acceptor for the Epsom Handicap after sustaining an injury to a suspensory ligament on Wednesday morning.
The international jockey has made regular trips back from Singapore during the Spring Carnival and was aboard Rock Sturdy when the four year old was runner up to Manawanui in the Group 3 $125,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on September 20.
Rock Sturdy then became the Epsom Handicap favourite after winning the Group 2 $175,000 It’s Betting Season At TAB Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
But the withdrawal of Rock Sturdy saw trainer Joe Pride accept with the back in form Laser Hawk with the Warwick Farm trainer sticking with Brown to ride for the stable.
Laser Hawk has had two runs back from injury and after running eighth to Cluster in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 13 ran a much improved race when third to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 20.
Laser Hawk bounced to the front in the George Main Stakes and will more than likely go forward again from barrier twelve in the fifteen horse Epsom Handicap field.
Formerly trained by Gai Waterhouse, Laser Hawk was one of the top three year olds of his year and won the 2012 Group 1 $500,000 Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill.
Pride is waiting for scan results before knowing the full extent of the injury to Rock Sturdy and once the vets look him over, he will then have to work a rehabilitation program for the four year old.
“I’m still waiting to get him scanned but it doesn’t look good unfortunately,” Pride said.
“These injuries are never good but I think it might be over.”
Laser Hawk has been on the best backed runners for the Epsom Handicap and is now an $8 chance after opening up at triple figure odds in early pre post markets.
The Chris Waller trained Royal Descent has been marked the $4.60 and will jump from gate eleven with Hugh Bowman to ride.
Waller will also saddle up topweight Boabn, a $6 chance to win back to back Epsoms and will jump from the inside with regular rider Glyn Schofield to stick with the five year old, He’s Your Man ($6), barrier ten with Hong Kong based Joao Moreira to ride and Lucky Chappy ($51) with Jeff Lloyd to come out of gate four.