Trainer Joseph Pride is thrilled with the condition of injury-plagued galloper Laser Hawk as he builds towards the start of his 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
Laser Hawk missed over a year of racing after he suffered a tendon injury following his 11th place finish behind Pierro in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 6, but returned to racing under the care of Pride during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Artie Schiller gelding was far from disgraced when he finished eighth first-up in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9, but he was outpaced in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and dropped out of the race to finish last.
Laser Hawk returned to a semblance of his best form when he finished third behind Sacred Falls and Royal Descent in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and he was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), but he tired in the final stages to finish at the tail of the field.
Pride believes that Laser Hawk took plenty of benefit out of his four race starts during his autumn campaign and the Warwick Farm-based trainer is extremely bullish about the chances of the six-year-old during his autumn campaign.
“I could not be happier with him, he looks amazing,” Pride said.
“He is coming off a very long spell, an injury enforced spell, and I think that you often don’t see horses get to their peak within those spells.
“He had a short break where we kept him ticking over out at Gooree and he has come back in and transferred into a different horse.
“He ran a really good race here last year in the George Main and I am hoping that we will be able to maintain that sort of form this time in.”
Laser Hawk made his racing debut in 2011 under the care of Gai Waterhouse and in just his fourth race start he finished a close third behind Mosheen and Said Com in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m).
The talented gelding defeated Group 1 winners Ocean Park and Silent Achiever to record a maiden win at Group level in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and he finished a credible third behind Ethiopia and Polish Knight in his final start as a three-year-old in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).