Rival trainer Wayne Hawkes believes that triple Group 1 winner Dissident is a weighted certainty in the Group 1 $400,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern Sir Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday.
Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, will saddle up last start winner Atlante who has been weighted on the 52kgs minimum, only 6kgs below the Peter Moody trained Dissident who will carry the topweight of 58kgs.
“I was disappointed with the weights,” Wayne Hawkes told Racing.com.
“I think Dissident is thrown in at the weights. I think Dissident is a weighted certainty.”
Dissident won the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and then returned in the Spring to record back to back Group 1 victories.
The Sebring stallion raced away from Sweet Idea in the straight to record a two and a quarter length win in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30 and then held on to beat last year‘s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner in a tight photo finish in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13.
Atlante has had one run for Team Hawkes since being transferred from Kiwi trainer Murray Baker and the Fastnet Rock four year old was able to score first up in the Listed $120,000 Drummond Golf Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
But Stephen Baster has been able to pick up the ride in the Sir Rupert Clarke after Dunn was unable to get down to the 52kgs.
Even though Wayne Hawkes has given Dissident all the ticks, he also can’t fault Atlante and expects him to produce a strong performance.
“Atlante, he’s really good. Can’t wait for the Group 1, it’s going to be a great day. I hope it is going to be a great success,” Hawkes said.
“I am very happy with our horse, he has done everything right.”
While under the care of Baker, Atlante was able to win the 2013 Group 1 NZ$300,000 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park and ran Dissident to a neck in the Randwick Guineas.
“If you look at my blokes’ form in the autumn, we didn’t train him, but he got very close to Dissident. If he can reproduce his best form, he is not that far from Dissident in the autumn,” Hawkes said.
In a wide open betting race, the Gai Waterhouse trained Sweet Idea shares favouritism for the Sir Rupert Clarke with Dissident at $7 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Last start Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes winner Cluster and the Darren Weir trained Trust In A Gust share the next line of betting at $7.50 with Dissident’s stablemate A Time For Julia at $9 while Atlante is marked as $ 13 chance.