The Team Hawkes trained Entirely Platinum needs to win the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday to gain entry into the Caulfield Cup in a fortnight.
The winner of the Turnbull Stakes is exempt from the ballot for the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield and jockey Dwayne Dunn believes the Pentire gelding is peaking at the right time.
Entirely Platinum almost secured a spot in the Caulfield Cup last start when a nose second to Gris Caro in the exempt free Group 3 $150,000 Jack London Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 20.
In hindsight Dunn said that if he could have been a bit closer in the run, Entirely Platinum could have won the Naturalism Stakes and have already booked his spot in the major Group 1 2400m Handicap of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“He needs to win a race like this to go forward in the Spring in the big league,” Dunn told the Sportsman.
“I thought he ran really well, it was good to see him back, and he was quite solid on the line.”
“As it turned out being the leader or outside the leader may have been a better option for us.”
Entirely Platinum won his first start back for the Spring over 1400m at Rosehill then failed to handle the heavy track when eighth of eight in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 6.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has reported that Entirely Platinum has done well since the Naturalism Stakes and confirms that he has to win on Saturday to progress to the Caulfield Cup.
“He’s great, done well, looks super,” Wayne Hawks told RSN.
“It won’t be easy the 2000m Turnbull for him but he will be in the same boat as La Amistad, he has to win tomorrow to start in the Caulfield Cup.
“If he doesn’t win he won’t be running and doesn’t deserve to be either.”
“In saying that I don’t know if he will run the 2400m of the distance of the Caulfield Cup, he is definitely a strong 2000m horse, whether he is going to run a mile and half only time will tell.”
Team Hawkes is also chasing a start in the Caulfield Cup for La Amistad and a win in the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday would greatly enhance her chances of finding a place in the field.
In a high quality Turnbull Stakes, Entirely Platinum is marked as a $13 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au in an open betting race.
Last year’s winner Happy Trails, popular grey Puissance De Lune and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes winner Lucia Valentina all share favouritism at $6 ahead of super Kiwi mare Silent Achiever at $8 and $9.50 chance Stipulate from the in-form Lindsay Park stable.