Hallowed Crown has recorded two race wins from as many starts, but co-trainer James Cummings admits that the promising colt will face the toughest test of his career to date in the 2014 Run To The Rose at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Hallowed Crown made his racing debut with a comfortable win in the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1150m) at Randwick on March 26 before he scored his maiden win at Group level with an impressive performance in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
The form coming out of the Kindergarten Stakes has been strong, with runner-up Washington Heights finishing second in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m), but Cummings told Racing Ahead that Hallowed Crown needs to show that he is capable of being competitive against some of the leading three-year-olds in Australia in The Run To The Rose.
“He is probably at the same place where he left off last prep,” Cummings said.
“That is going to be really strong race on Saturday, but that is no surprise because it is a really strong lead-up to the Golden Rose and most of the main contenders are there.
“We will get a really good feel on how he is measured up against those good horses that he hasn’t met yet, but it was interesting to see Washington Heights run second in the San Domenico, the same horse that ran second to Hallowed Crown in the Kindergarten in the autumn.
“What is important is that he makes that step into the spring, into his three-year-old career and shows that he can mix it with some of these quality animals that we are going to meet on the weekend.”
Hallowed Crown will run in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and he has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), but Cummings is unsure what path the Street Sense colt will follow for the rest of his spring campaign.
“We are conscience of how much we want to race him during the spring, but we will just have a discussion with the connections after his next start or two and go from there,” Cummings said.
“He is going to really need to show us as he progresses and gets a bit better, but we are really happy with him at these early stages.
“He has a bit of upside to him and there is still that bit of an unknown.”
Hallowed Crown is currently available at odds of $8.50 in the 2014 The Run To The Rose betting market with Ladbrokes Australia, with Almalad ($3.60) opening as a clear favourite from Brazen Beau ($5.50) and Nostradamus ($6).