The Gai Waterhouse trained Laser Hawk moved to outright favourite for the Australian Derby courtesy of a brilliant ride from Nash Rawiller in taking out the Group 1 $500,000 Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas (2000m) today.
A copy book ride by Rawiller saw him position Laser Hawk fourth on the fence behind the leader Doctor Doom and then stick to the rails in the straight to hold the off the determined finishes of Ocean Park and Silent Achiever.
Laser Hawk was firm in the betting at $5.50 and will now be a clear favourite in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 14 where he will be meeting the two Kiwis again.
Silent Achiever put in an outstanding effort and after settling second last in the early stages, jockey Hugh Bowman set her an enormous task by circling the field from the 1200m and to be beaten a head and a head was a top class run.
Kiwi trainer Roger James would be pleased with the run and will have to make up his mind in the near future if Silent Achiever will line up in the Derby or the Group 1 $550,000 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 21.
“He’s outstanding,” Waterhouse said.
“It was a really, really star studded field here today, the best Australasia could offer, all the rising stars. He’s such a good horse.”
Waterhouse is very excited about Laser Hawk heading towards the Derby and expects him to handle the 2400m with ease.
Laser Hawk recorded his fourth win from five starts and is a half brother to Waterhouse’s outstanding Group 1 performer Desert War and is quickly putting American stallion Artie Schiller on the local breeding map.
But Rawiller stole the show with a top shelf ride, saving all the ground he had to when he took the run along the fence while Bowman had to take off around the field planting Silent Achiever the widest runner on the home turn.
“I thought he really put the writing on the wall. He’s shown good ability the whole way through. It’s taken him a long time to get to this stage,” Rawiller said.
“It’s taken a long time for the penny to drop but he has always shown plenty of potential.”
“I said to Gai before the race that the track was starting to even up a little bit. I was pretty confident that if I got free running and kept him rolling he would be hard to beat.”
Laser Hawk had the blinkers off today and Rawiller thought that could prove a problem when he shied at everything on the way to the barriers but he settled well in the race and the 2400m of the Derby looks ideal.