La Amistad will earn a place in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field if she wins the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday, but co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has revealed that he would not be particularly worried if the promising mare missed ‘the race that stops a nation’ next Tuesday.
La Amistad was one of the leading contenders in early 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets, but she has not done enough to guarantee herself a place in the Group 1 event after failing to record a win in her five race starts this preparation.
The Redoute’s Choice mare still has the chance to sneak into the Melbourne Cup field by winning the ballot-exempt Lexus Stakes this weekend, but Hawkes told RSN that he is already looking forward to 2015 with the three-quarter sister of Makybe Diva.
“We are not worried about that,” Hawkes said.
“If it happens, it happens and if she doesn’t then she wasn’t good enough.
“We will go onto next year and I wish we were in 2015 right now because whatever she does this year, she will be a much better horse this time next year.”
While Hawkes is not worried about whether La Amistad will get a run in the 2014 Melbourne Cup, he remains confident that the five-year-old will be more than competitive in the Lexus Stakes after she returned to a semblance of her best form with a second place finish behind Mulaqen in the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2046m) at Royal Randwick on October 18.
Hawkes believes that La Amistad is due a change in luck and he is confident that the mare can deliver Team Hawkes a third win in the Lexus Stakes since 2010 if the Group 3 event is run at genuine tempo.
“She is going to be in it up to her ears,” Hawkes said.
“She hasn’t had much go right this campaign; she has been galloped on, drawn bad barriers and was too close second-up.
“If they trot, walk, canter and sprint home it might make it a bit harder for her, but if they run the Lexus at a good tempo I think we are a good chance of winning it again.”
La Amistad is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $67, while she is priced at a quote of $8 to take out the Lexus Stakes this weekend.
Team Hawkes previously won the Lexus Stakes with Maluckyday in 2010 and Niwot in 2011 and both horses went on to run well in the Melbourne Cup just three days later.