Hooked is set to contest the 2015 Doncaster Mile this weekend and trainer John Thompson is confident that the drop in weight and return to Royal Randwick will help the talented galloper return to his best form in the Group 1 event.
Hooked stamped himself as a quality miler when he took out the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and he has performed well without winning in both the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 and the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
Thompson told RSN this morning that he has been happy with the Doncaster Mile lead-up form of Hooked and he believes that the Casino Prince entire could not be going any better heading into the $3 million event.
“He ran ok,” Thompson said.
“Weight-for-age is not his go at the moment and he is more of a handicap horse.
“The track was a fraction firm for him, but he comes back to Randwick where he has a great record and obviously back to a handicap he drops seven kilos.
“Hugh said that turning for home he thought he was a real hope, but just didn’t let down on the firm surface, which was the same circumstances as when he ran in the Emirates.
“This is his grand final and he is ready to go.
“He is going as good as he can go and it is just a matter of if he is good enough for that race.”
Hooked has been ridden by four different jockeys in his past five starts and leading South Australian hoop Dom Tourneur has been booked to ride the four-year-old for the first time in the 2015 Doncaster Mile.
Thompson said that he is happy to have Tourneur aboard Hooked and he believes that the talented hoop will be able to find the Group 1 placegetter a position in the first half of the 2015 Doncaster Mile field.
“He rides for the owner Sean Buckley in Adelaide, so he knows him well and he rides the weight very comfortably.
“I would have preferred single figures, but he is a horse that goes forward and it shouldn’t worry him too much.
“He is good in every way and he is coming right at the right time.”
Hooked is currently available at 2015 Doncaster Mile odds of $21, while Hallowed Crown ($5.50) remains a narrow favourite from Kermadec ($6.50) and Real Impact ($7).