Darwin Cup legend Hawks Bay will step out at Flemington on Saturday which is another step on the road to chasing a third straight title in the Northern Territory’s biggest race.
Hawks Bay has contested an incredible four Darwin Cups and always shines in the top end. After runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010, the Neil Dyer-trained gelding went back-to-back at his past two attempts.
Last year he carried a massive 64.5kg to storm down the outside and etch his name into Darwin racing history.
After some injury troubles since that win last August, the son of Black Hawk resumed at Flemington on May 4 where he secured a solid fourth-place finish.
This week he will again race in the Flemington and has been allocated the topweight of 60.5kg in the Winter Championship Series Heat 2 (1400m).
After his last run Dyer indicated he was keen to have another crack at the top end’s feature race.
The Kyneton-based trainer was pleased with the first-up performance after the lengthy layoff.
“It was a good run, I was very happy,” Dyer said.
“It is all onwards and upwards…Steven Arnold said he couldn’t have gone any better.”
Now seven, the tough Hawks Bay has raced 53 times for 14 wins and 11 minor placings, collecting over $800,000 in prizemoney.
The veteran is easily the highest-rated horse for Saturday’s test but faces tough competition from some in-form lightweight chances including Jason Warren’s Loot ‘n’ Run.
The four-year-old is rising in class but chasing a third consecutive win after some strong performances at Bendigo and Warrnambool.