Trainer John Thompson is pleased with the condition of Group 1 winner Sir John Hawkwood as he continues to work towards the 2016 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington next Tuesday.
Sir John Hawkwood has been a strong and reasonably consistent performer through twenty-nine career starts since debuting in Britain in 2012, but has taken particularly well to work and racing since transferring to Thompson’s Randwick base at the conclusion of winter.
Running a smart second to McCreery in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) first-up on September 10th, the Sir Percy gelding broke through for a maiden win at the highest level in The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day.
Having failed to handle the conditions at Caulfield and late pace of the talent-rich field in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) most recently on October 15th, Thompson has been pleased with the work produced by the seven-year-old this week and is confident he will relish the wide Flemington track when he lines up for the Melbourne Cup.
“He came through (Caulfield Cup) really well,” Thompson told Racing Ahead.
“Obviously we were a little bit disappointed with that run, but if you look at his previous Caulfield form, it’s pretty ordinary.
“If you watch his run, he didn’t have a lot of luck in the run so we’ll excuse him for that since he’s come through the run really well.
“He spent a week back at the Waratah’s farm and is full of life again. He had a nice gallop on the course proper this morning and surprisingly, ran a quick time.
“3200m is a worry because he’s never been over it before, so that’s a question mark, but I have no hesitation in saying that Flemington will suit him better and he should run a bit better than what he did in the Caulfield Cup.”
Sir John Hawkwood delivered trainer David Vandyke a number of strong results through autumn and winter this year; beginning with a smart win in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) on March 12th.
Progressing to third in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) on March 26th, the gelding out of Athene arrived in Brisbane for a close second behind Real Love in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2000m) before ending his campaign second in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Sir John Hawkwood is currently available at 2016 Melbourne Cup odds of $81 with online bookmaker Ladbrokes Australia.