Messene has drifted out to 2015 Warwick Stakes odds of $12, but co-trainer Wayne Hawkes remains confident that the seven-year-old is an excellent chance in the Group 2 event that will be held at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Messene opened at a quote of $7 when the 2015 Warwick Stakes field was released on Wednesday, but he has been a consistent drifter since and there was no interest at the son of Lonhro at $8, $10 or $11 before he eventually settled at $12.
There was a great deal expected of Messene in the lead-up to the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he started his campaign with a close second behind Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9, but he failed to fire in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30 and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 before he was sent to the spelling paddock.
Messene made his long awaited return to racing in the Missile Stakes at Royal Randwick on August 8 and he was a big drifter in betting due to concerns about his fitness levels, which was evident when he tired in the final stages of the race to finish fifth.
Hawkes told Racing Ahead that the performance of Messene in the Missile Stakes was much better than it looks on paper and he believes that the seven-year-old has an excellent chance to return to wining form in the 2015 Warwick Stakes.
“It was a great effort,” Hawkes said.
“He was chasing a long way from home, 600 metres from home he was stoked up and chasing the tearaway leader.
“He was a beaten horse and he was gone at the 100, but he fought on and was only beaten a length.
“It is certainly a great, great race for him there is no doubt about it.
“It is his chance to get back in the winner’s stall tomorrow.”
Messene is now on the seventh line of betting behind New South Wales Horse Of The Year First Seal ($2.90), Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec ($6.50), consistent mare Royal Descent ($7), Godolphin-owned It’s Somewhat ($7.50), Missile Stakes winner Burbero ($8.50) and Doomben Cup winner Pornichet ($9.50).
Team Hawkes are chasing their first win in the Warwick Stakes since equine superstar Lonhro took out the race in 2001 and 2003.