Headwater was included in the 2015 Golden Slipper field that was released this morning and co-trainer Michael Hawkes has revealed that he is happy with the talented colt heading into the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Headwater stamped himself as Golden Slipper favourite when he recorded a dominant win in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21 and he went into the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 as an odds-on favourite, but was caught three wide throughout the run and tired late to finish third.
While Team Hawkes were disappointed with the effort of Headwater in the Silver Slipper Stakes, Michael Hawkes told Sky Racing this morning that the Exceed And Excel colt had come through the race in excellent condition and was a worthy of being given the opportunity to turn-the-tables on Vancouver and Furnaces in the 2015 Golden Slipper Stakes.
“It is always hard bouncing back, but everyone is entitled to an off day I suppose,” Hawkes said.
“He worked good this morning, we are happy with him and he looks great.
“We didn’t change his routine and he worked very good on the grass this morning.
“We think he is back to where he was going into the Silver Slipper and he is there and well.
“Anybody would think that his lost a leg last start, but he still ran third and he had a hard run.
“He got beat by a couple of good horses in the race and you can’t take anything away, but if he brings back his form when he won the Silver Slipper he is going to be hard to beat.
“He is definitely on track.”
Vancouver defeated Headwater by five and a half lengths in the Todman Stakes and is now a clear Golden Slipper favourite and Hawkes admits that Headwater will struggle to turn-the-tables on his rival in the Group 1 event, but was quick to point out that Mossfun was able to beat Earthquake in the Golden Slipper after being beaten in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) a fortnight earlier.
“Vancouver is still the horse to beat and he has done nothing wrong,” Hawkes said.
“He is bombproof, he has gone and obviously excelled.
“Going into these sort of races it is hard to turn it around and we understand that, but the horse came through the run the other day well.”
Headwater is currently available at 2015 Golden Slipper odds of $11, while Vancouver ($2.50) is a clear favourite from Godolphin hopeful Exosphere ($4.60).