Trainer Joe Pride has revealed that he would have no problems with jockey Tim Clark leading on Laser Hawk in the early stages of the 2014 Chelmsford Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Laser Hawk returned to racing, after spending almost a year on the sidelines, in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9 and he worked home fairly from the tail of the field to finish ninth.
Pride told Racing Ahead that he was more than happy with the return effort of Laser Hawk and is confident that he can produce an even better performance when he steps up to a mile in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) this weekend.
“It was a good effort for so long away from the race track,” Pride said.
“It is always hard, they are going to be ring rusty and he had the three trials, but nothing prepares you for a race.
“The other notable thing there is that he had never run in a race shorter than 1400 metres, so the run was full of merit.
“He has had another trial since, we avoided the wet track in the Warwick Stakes, and if he gets in a good to slow surface I think that he can run a very cheeky race.”
Laser Hawk was settled at the tail of the field in the Missile Stakes, but he was an on-pace runner when he began his racing career under the care of Gai Waterhouse and he showed that he still had that early speed when he led all the way to win a barrier trial over 1175 metres at Warwick Farm on August 29.
There is very little early speed engaged in the Chelmsford Stakes field and Pride said that he expects Laser Hawk to take up the running in the early stages of the race as he returns to peak fitness following his lengthy layoff.
“I would say that he would nearly lead this field,” Pride said.
“He is probably a run or two away and he is building into this.
“I see this as a nice stepping stone for him.”
Laser Hawk will be running over the famous Randwick mile for the first time since he finished a close third behind Mosheen and Said Com in the 2012 edition of the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
Entirely Platinum ($3.30) remains a clear favourite in Chelmsford Stakes betting markets, while Laser Hawk is the outsider of the field at Chelmsford Stakes odds of $51.