Nostradamus recorded a most impressive win in the 2014 San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon and co-trainer Michael Hawkes believes that the talented colt still has plenty of improvement in front of him.
Nostradamus was the first horse out of the gates and he was settled in a lovely position by jockey James McDonald in the early stages of the race.
Sheer Style kicked clear of the rest of the field coming into the straight, but he died quickly and Nostradamus hit the front at the 250 metre mark to score a strong win in race record time from Washington Heights and Law.
Hawkes said throughout the week that Nostradamus would not be at his peak for the 2014 San Domenico Stakes and he still confident that the son of Medgalia D’Oro will continue to improve as he gets further into his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“He probably actually began too good because the idea was just to jump and have him just behind the speed,” Hawkes said.
“He was anyway, but he was a bit fresh today but James got him nice and balanced and he hit the line strong.
“He has done everything right and he will keep improving.
“He wasn’t screwed down for today and we have some in reserve in the bank.”
Team Hawkes have included Nostradamus in the nominations for both the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11 and Hawkes believes that the three-year-old is capable of getting over a longer trip and won’t be restricted to sprinting events like the San Domenico.
“I think that as he gets on he will get further,” Hawkes said.
“It is only his fourth start in a race and today probably taught him a bit as well.
“His runs in Melbourne were fantastic and to come here and do he is clearly on the right path.”
McDonald said before the race that Nostradamus felt like a completely different horse before the San Domenico Stakes than he had on Monday and he paid credit to the work that Team Hawkes have done with the three-year-old.
The leading hoop admitted that he was a little bit worried in the final stages of the race when Nostradamus started to feel a bit tired, but like Hawkes he is confident that the colt still has plenty of improvement left in him.
“He obviously still has plenty of improvement there and he locked up 100 from home and I was a little bit worried the last 50 metres, but he got the job done.
“He is a beautiful colt, he moves well and he has a bright future.”