Trainer John Thompson is confident that Hooked will relish the step-up to 2000 metres in the Rosehill Guineas 2014, but is worried about the prospect of a wet track at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
There has been plenty of rain in Sydney in the past week and there are more showers forecast in the lead-up to Rosehill Guineas Day on Saturday; with Sydney trainers expecting the track to be in the slow or heavy range for the nine-race card.
Thompson told TVN that the step-up to 2000 metres will help Hooked in the Rosehill Guineas, but admits that he may struggle on a wet track; with the Casino Prince colt missing the placings in his three career starts on rain-affected going including the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) this preparation.
“If anything he will go better,” Thompson when asked how Hooked will perform over 2000 metres
“Hopefully he gets a firm track because he is not that good on wet.
“The main thing is that we need to get him to switch off a bit earlier in a race, so that he hits the line better.”
Hooked started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with two disappointing performances in the Eskimo Prince Stakes and Hobartville Stakes and went into the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15 at long odds, but was far from disgraced when fifth behind Dissident.
Thompson was happy with the performance of Hooked in the Royal Randwick Guineas and believes that the three-year-old can be competitive in the Rosehill Guineas if he settles better in the early stages of the race.
“He is improving as he gets over the trips, but he just needs to settle a bit and I think that he will finish off his races a little more,” Thompson said.
“He ran well the other day; he sat a length or two behind the top ones.
“If we can tinker and get that out of him then he is right in it.”
Hooked has raced consistently at the highest level of racing since making his racing debut, but has been unable to record a race win since he started his career with back-to-back wins in the Hidden Dragon At Lyndhurst Handicap (1200m) and Goulburn Valley Handicap (1350m) in Brisbane last year.
Puccini ($4.40) is currently a narrow favourite from Dissident ($4.60) in 2014 Rosehill Guineas betting markets; with Hooked one of the outsiders of the field at odds of $41.