Trainer Michael Hawkes is expecting a vast improvement from Entirely Platinum back on a dry track in the Group 3 $150,000 Jack London Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Entirely Platinum put in one of the worst runs of his career when he failed to beat a runner home when eighth to Hawkspur in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 6.
The Pentire gelding was sent out the favourite on the back of some very good winning form but floundered in the heavy going according to Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne.
“That’s all it was put down to, we couldn’t fault him other than that,” Michael Hawkes told the Sportsman.
“A lot of good horses with good actions don’t usually handle wet tracks.”
Even though Entirely Platinum has a heavy track win at Warwick Farm on his record, Hawkes was quick to point out that it is different racing against top quality opposition.
“Even though he won in the wet, in lower grade it is easier than taking on the big boys on wet tracks,” Hawkes said.
Entirely Platinum had also been an acceptor in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick but Hawkes will head to Melbourne this weekend and an improved run could see the five year old take the next step up in grade.
The winner of the Naturalism Stakes is exempt from the ballot for the Group 1 $2.5m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18 and the lightly weighted Entirely Platinum would need to win on Saturday to guarantee a spot in the 2400m Handicap, one of the main Spring Carnival features.
Top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn takes over from James McDonald and should have Entirely Platinum in a handy position from barrier six.
Entirely Platinum in well in contention in the market order for the Naturalism Stakes and is on the second line of betting at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the clear favourite Spillway at $3.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Bonfire is next in the betting at $5.50 just ahead of $7 chance Our Voodoo Prince from the Chris Waller stable.
In early Caulfield Cup markets Entirely Platinum is marked as a $51 chance.