Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that Hawkspur will have his final run before the Caulfield Cup (2400m) in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
The four-year-old stamped himself as a leading contender for the Caulfield Cup with a scintillating performance in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday, where he burst to the lead with 100 metres left to run and ran away from the strong field to record a dominant three and a half lengths victory.
Hawkspur is set to contest the Caulfield Cup without having a lead-up at the home of the Melbourne Racing Club but Waller told Sky Racing HQ that he believes that the Turnbull Stakes is the best warm-up race for the Caulfield Cup and isn’t worried about how the classy gelding will handle the unique nature of the Caulfield track.
“I guess you can say if he goes to a race prior to the Caulfield Cup it will worry him there and that would be a big race as well,” Waller said.
“I just want to make sure that the preparation is heading in the right direction and in my opinion it is running in the Turnbull two weeks before, which will give him the chance to race left-handed.”
“In my mind over 2400 you don’t need the same navigational skills when you are flying over 1200 or 1400 metres around a unique track like Caulfield.”
The success of Hawkspur has even taken Waller by surprise as the son of Purrealist was bred to be a sprinter and took ten starts to finally win his first race start in the Tooheys Handicap (1850m) in Newcastle at the end of last year.
He went from a struggling maiden to a Group 1 winner, after his win in the Queensland Derby (2400m), to a Caulfield Cup contender and Waller is hoping that the four-year-old has some improvement left in him ahead of his major targets this campaign.
“He is one out of the box,” Waller said.
“You just don’t know how much improvement that they have in them and hopefully for our sake he still has a bit more improvement to come as we head down to the spring in Melbourne.”
Hawkspur is one of 93 horses left in contention for the Caulfield Cup after the first acceptances were taken by Racing Victoria today.