Co-trainer Michael Hawkes is happy with the condition of Nostradamus heading into the 2014 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday, but admits that the talented colt may struggle to win from the outside gate.
Nostradamus was heavily-backed in the lead-up to his racing debut in the Nursery Plate (1100m) at Flemington on January 18 and justified the support of punters when he raced away to score an effortless two and a half lengths win from Jarklin and Hennessy Rock.
Hawkes told Racing Ahead this morning that Nostradamus had trained on strongly from his debut victory and is looking forward to seeing how the son of Medaglia D’Oro performs, despite the outside barrier, in the Blue Diamond Colts And Geldings Prelude this weekend.
“He has done well,” Hawkes said.
“He has done everything right since his run, but obviously it was a very disappointing drawing the outside marble.
“It is always hard when you draw a wide barrier because barriers win you races.
“It is a tough field, Rubick has got the gun draw and Chivalry is out in 12, so a lot of the good chances I feel are out wider.
“In saying that the horse is well, I can’t fault him, he has trained on and I am looking forward to it.”
The likes of exciting colt Rubick, Mark Kavanagh-trained Chivalry, and the undefeated Duckworth should make sure that the Blue Diamond Prelude is run at a very quick tempo; with Hawkes indicating that he is happy to leave the race tactics up to leading jockey Glen Boss.
“Glen knows him, he has ridden him before and he knows what is underneath him,” Hawkes said
“Our bloke is a relaxed customer and I think there is going to be a lot of speed on inside, so it just really depends on the day and how he jumps to what we do.”
The Hawkes Team is chasing their second win in the Blue Diamond Prelude after winning the 2009 edition of the race with Real Saga.
Rubick ($1.70) is currently a clear favourite in the 2014 Blue Diamond Prelude betting markets at Ladbrokes; with Nostradamus ($14) on the fourth line of betting behind Chivalry ($11) and Francesco ($13).