Veteran hoop Brett Prebble has been booked to ride Nostradamus in the 2014 Golden Rose Stakes, but the talented colt is still no certainty to contest the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Team Hawkes do not want to run Nostradamus on a heavy track and, with Rosehill Gardens currently rated a heavy 8, they have elected to include the son of Medaglia D’Oro in the acceptances for both the Golden Rose and the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said that the stable were no closer to making a decision on which races Nostradamus will contest, but were happy to take the opportunity to secure Prebble in case the three-year-old remains in Sydney for the Golden Rose.
“Just because we have booked Brett Prebble, that doesn’t mean the horse will definitely run in Sydney, it all depends on the weather like we have said all along,” Hawkes told TVN.
“No disrespect to the riders here but when you have a jockey of his ability available, why wouldn’t we book him?
“We spoke to the owners, they were happy so we approached Brett.”
There is no rain forecast in Sydney tomorrow and Hawkes said that the stable will wait until tomorrow evening before they make a final decision on whether Nostradamus returns to Group 1 level in the 2014 Golden Rose Stakes or heads to Melbourne to take on a strong field down the famous Flemington straight in the Danehill Stakes.
“If the horse is going to run in Melbourne, the float will be leaving at 6pm on Thursday,” Hawkes said.
“If he is to stay here in Sydney, that is when Brett will be booking his flight (on Thursday night), he only has the one ride.”
Prebble has ridden in the Golden Rose on two previous occasions without success and he finished 11th on Crystal Lily in 2010 before finishing tenth on Fast ‘N’ Rocking last year.
The Group 1 winning hoop has not ridden in Australia since Emirates Stakes Day last year, but he steered talented Hong Kong-based sprinter Lucky Nine to victory in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) and Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) in Singapore earlier this year.
Prebble is set to ride in Hong Kong this season and he is joined on the Hong Kong roster by fellow Australians Christian Reith, Zac Purton and Nash Rawiller.