Staying three-year-old Hawkspur appears set to start as favourite in the Queensland Derby (2400m) after claiming another big lead-up win in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben today.
After dominating his rivals on a heavy Eagle Farm in the Rough Habit Plate two weeks ago, the Chris Waller-trained gelding showed he is more than just a wet-tracker with another convincing performance.
A perfectly executed ride by Jim Cassidy ensured Hawkspur would always be in the finish, with the veteran hoop assuming an ideal position just behind the leaders.
Turning for home Cassidy backed his charge to run out the staying trip, quickly taking him to the lead and putting the sword to his rivals.
His judgement turned out to be spot on as the son of Purrealist defeated Rhythm To Spare and Honorius.
Cassidy admits it will be no easy feat to make it three in a row in the Derby at Eagle Farm on June 8 but is confident Hawkspur will be one of the better chances.
“Not a lot of them can run a strong 2200m but this bloke will run a mile and a half (2400m),” Cassidy said.
“He’s improved and he’s turning into a nice staying horse.”
Waller praised the ride the ride by Cassidy who also combined with the leading Sydney trainer to take out the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes earlier in the day.
“He had a good barrier but he used it to full advantage,” Waller said.
“He’s a marvel Jim Cassidy and he’s winning these races for us.
“I always talk about confidence but with this horse he’s been ridden perfectly in his past two starts so most of the credit should be going to Jim Cassidy.”