Veteran galloper Hawk Island and leading jockey Glyn Schofield are ready to atone for a disastrous fall last year when they go into the Sydney Cup 2012 at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Twelve months ago the Chris Waller-trained Hawk Island, now a rising eight-year-old, suffered severe interference and fell during the Sydney Cup run failing to finish the race.
The son of Hawk Wing jumped favourite in the markets for the classic that autumn following a win in the JRA Plate, and Schofield hopes that history won’t repeat itself on the weekend.
This year Hawk Island and Schofield come off a JRA Plate seventh when beaten four lengths by Western Symbol last Saturday.
While certainly not performing as the same level they were last year, Waller said their run two back when sixth to Manighar in The BMW (2400m) was promising.
“Hawk Island has been a bit one-paced but I thought his run in the BMW was good,” Waller said.
Having mad a full recovery from the fall that saw him fitted with a metal plate and 14 screws for his broken collarbone, Schofield agreed that Hawk Island was a little way off his 2011 form but that he was still a genuine Sydney Cup chance.
“The way he was travelling in last year’s (Sydney) Cup he was going to win,” Schofield said.
“Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be going as well as last year.
“His run in The BMW was super when sixth behind Manighar, Americain, those types, but he didn’t run home strongly in last Saturday’s JRA Plate.
“He is one of those horses I would truly love to win a Group 1 on for his owner Ken Hunt.”
One of three Sydney Cup chances along with the $3.40 favourite Permit and last year’s winner Stand To Gain, who saved the day for Waller but who is only rated $101 to go back-to-back, Hawk Island is at $21 in the latest Sydney Cup betting odds at bookmaker.com.au.
Five-year-old Permit, out for their third win on the trot after taking out the NE Manion Cup – Chairman’s Quality double, will also be ridden by a hoop involved in last year’s Sydney Cup fall.
Kerrin McEvoy broke two ribs when his ride Tinseltown ran into Hawk Island and also fell.
McEvoy gain the ride on Permit, Saturday to be his first time on the horse, after Chairman’s Quality winning jockey Corey Brown was suspended.
Schofield said that based on the form and weights of Permit (53.5kg) and Hawk Island (55kg) he believed he was riding the better of the two chances in the Sydney Cup.
“On Hawk Island’s best form, giving Permit 1.5 kilograms, I’d choose Hawk Island every day of the week,” he said.
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