Co-trainer Michael Hawkes believes that Nostradamus and Bugatty are capable of quinellaing the 2014 San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Nostradamus is currently on top of 2014 San Domenico Stakes betting markets at a quote of $3.80, while Bugatty has remained steady at odds of $6.50 and Hawkes is confident that the classy duo could run first and second if they have luck in running in the Group 3 event.
“They are two different sort of horses and they both have chances in this sort of race,” Hawkes told Racing Ahead.
“It really boils down to how hard or how slow they go and if they get the right rides they can run one, two.
“I can’t really split them at the moment, they have done everything right going forward.”
Nostradamus has not been seen at the races since he finished a credible seventh behind Earthquake in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22, but impressed with a barrier trial victory over Bring Me The Maid at Hawkesbury on Monday.
Hawkes said that Nostradamus had taken plenty of benefit from his lengthy stint in the spelling paddock, but be believes that the Medaglia D’Oro colt will take even more improvement from his first-up run in the San Domenico Stakes.
“He has come back bigger and stronger and he looks great,” Hawkes said.
“He has done everything right and he trailed Monday at Hawkesbury.
“He only did what he had to do and he is a very casual customer, but he is a very professional customer at the same time.
“He has drawn a good barrier and he should just have the run off the speed there.
“He will be hitting the line strong, but whatever he does he will be able to improve on.”
Bugatty failed to fire when he returned to racing in The Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1000m) at Sandown on June 18, but he showed his trademark speed when he scored a three and a half lengths victory over Brazen Beau and Law in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens on August 4.
Hawkes said that he is thrilled with the condition of Bugatty heading into the San Domenico Stakes, but admits that he is concerned by the prospect of rain hitting the Rosehill Gardens track in the next 24 hours.
“He is great,” Hawkes said.
“He has come through his trial really well, he had a super trial there at Rosehill.
“Everything is fine, he looks great, he has drawn a great barrier and he will jump and obviously just roll forward.
“The only downside is if the rain comes.
“He had that one start down in Melbourne on the heavy track and he just didn’t like it at all.
“It is a cracking day in Sydney at the moment, but it is expected to come and I hope that it doesn’t.”
Team Hawkes are chasing their first win in the San Domenico Stakes after previously finishing in the placings with Strategic (1995), Clang (1996), Sports (1997), Dorky (2003) and All Too Hard (2013).