Team Hawkes-trained Polish Knight will begin a Melbourne Cup campaign when he resumes in the Spring Preview (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
The Encosta De Lago stayer was considered a leading ‘Cups’ chance during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival after impressing during the autumn with a second place finish behind Ethiopia in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).
Polish Knight failed to live up to expectations during the spring, beating home just a single horse in both the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m), and was sent to the spelling paddock prematurely after failing to beat a horse home in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick in October.
The five-year-old has not been seen at the races since his disappointing spring campaign but co-trainer Michael Hawkes told TVN this morning that the gelding had returned for this preparation in good condition.
“He’s done well,” Hawkes said.
“He’s had two trials leading into this and he’s ready for Saturday.
“He’s got a long way to go, he’s heading towards the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and he has to re-qualify again, but he’s going well.”
The Spring Preview field is dominated by Chris Waller with the leading Sydney trainer accepting with Coup Ay Tee, Illo, Lunayir, I’m Imposing and Studio.
Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) winner Havana Rey will carry the top weight of 61kg with Darley gelding Soledad and Queensland Derby placegetter Honorius rounding out the field.
Team Hawkes looks unlikely to add to the Caulfield Cup title they won with Railings in 2005 with Polish Knight and veteran Maluckyday their only nominees for the 2013 edition of the race.