Sydney Cup hopeful Hanks heads into Saturday’s Chairman’s Quality with an unlucky Adelaide Cup behind him and a few hurdles in front of him.
Leading Melbourne trainer Peter Moody has been preparing Hanks with several sessions over the hurdles leading up to the Group 2 $175,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick and then onto the Group 1 $500,000 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick in two weeks.
While it is common practice to school horses, as it is called, to brighten them up leading into a race, Moody has elected to actually send Hanks around in a hurdle trial at Casterton over 2400m on April 5, which he won.
Racing manager Jeff O’Connor said Hanks has responded well to his jumping sessions and expects the five year old to be very competitive on Saturday.
“Jumping looks to be the thing that’s got him going this prep,” O’Connor said.
“He had his first official trial last week and won that.”
Hanks headed over to Adelaide with two Moonee Valley wins under his belt and stable rider Luke Nolen will be looking for better luck on Saturday after running into a dead end in at the top of the straight in the Adelaide Cup.
He looked to be traveling very well before he got shunted out of the race,” O’Connor said.
“He was probably a bit stiff to get beaten.”
Nolen is certain to give Hanks a cosy run from barrier six in a field of sixteen and in early markets has been quoted at $13 with the Chris Waller trained Permit the $3.15 favourite.
After the Chairman’s Hanks will be heading to the Sydney Cup and the 3200m won’t be problem for the five year old.
Moody was able to secure a half-brother to triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva for $1.2m at the Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Newmarket today for stable clients.
The Street Cry – Tugela colt was offered for sale by Tony Stanic through his Makybe stud draft and Moody was very impressed with the yearling.
“I was very taken with him,” Moody said. “I thought he was the nicest of her progeny I’ve seen go to the sales ring.”
“We maybe paid a fraction more than we thought but we were prepared to go a couple of bids further to secure him and we’re very happy to have him.”