Chris Waller made it a Doomben 10,000 Day double this afternoon with his last start Rough Habit Plate winner Hawkspur confirming their Queensland Derby 2013 assignment with a nice win in the $150,000 Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).
The progressive Purrealist gelding entered calculations for the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8, Stradbroke Handicap Day, with their big three length win in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2100m) on May 11.
For that run they were ridden to perfection by Hall of Famer Jim Cassidy who stayed on for the 2013 Grand Prix Stakes in Brisbane.
Earlier in the day Cassidy won the $250,000 Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) for Waller with Zoustar who defeated stablemate Vilanova and who is now Group 1 JJ Atkins-bound.
Again Cassidy didn’t muck around in the Grand Prix taking his mount Hawkspur who was one of the best out of the barriers straight to the box seat four back on the rails behind early leader Fiesty Belle.
From there the horse had a beautiful run moving into third as they improved position and then second with 600m to go.
With 400m left to travel Hawkspur raced up to go to the lead around the turn before shooting off with 300m to go to get home first ahead of the well-supported Rhythm To Spare who made up lots of ground on the outside with the David Payne-trained Honorius in third.
While pleased with the effort by the horse Waller was quick to give the majority of the credit for today’s win to Cassidy.
“He’s a marvel Jim Cassidy and he’s winning these races for us,” Waller said.
“With this horse he’s been ridden perfectly at his last two starts so most the credit should be going to Jimmy Cassidy.”
It is now all systems go for Hawkspur heading towards the Queensland Derby who was the $7 equal second favourite with Hippopus in the early Queensland Derby odds at bookmaker.com.au before today’s win.
“Today I thought will tell if he can stay,” Waller said.
“We were still full of running (when the others were fading).
“He was still strong that last hundred (metres).
“(Now we’ll just) keep him where he’s at and not go overboard (before the Derby).”
Cassidy is one big supporter of Hawkspur confident after today’s performance that they will handle the step up to 2400m without issue come Queensland Derby Day.
“Great win,” he said of the Grand Prix.
“A good training performance to take this horse to the next level by Chris.
“Getting up over the trip I think really helped him.
“He’s turning into a nice staying horse.
“Not a lot of them (three-year-olds) can run a true 22 hundred (metres) but this bloke will run the mile and a half (2400m).”
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2013 Grand Prix Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 7 – 25/05/2013
|1||2||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||–||1||57kg||$3.80F|
|2||8||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Glen Boss||2.3L||3||57kg||$6|
|3||1||HONORIUS||David Payne||Michael Rodd||2.5L||12||57kg||$12|
|4||4||USAINITY (NZ)||Murray Baker||Hugh Bowman||4L||9||57kg||$6.50|
|5||6||AROUSING SUSPICION||Paul Rocke||Billy Egan||4.1L||6||57kg||$31|
|6||14||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Luke Nolen||4.6L||13||55kg||$5.50|
|7||12||AMBITIOUS CHAMPION (NZ)||Murray Baker||Jonathan Riddell||5.4L||11||57kg||$8|
|8||20e||SWEET AS BRO (NZ)||Leon Corstens||Kerrin McEvoy||5.5L||4||57kg||$17|
|9||16||FIESTY BELLE||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||7.8L||14||55kg||$201|
|10||7||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||Steve Englebrecht||Grant Cooksley||8L||2||57kg||$26|
|11||19e||SMILES FOR LAYLA (NZ)||John P Thompson||Ryan Wiggins||8.2L||7||55kg||$101|
|12||3||HIPPOPUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Chris Munce||9.5L||10||57kg||$10|
|13||9||HEATER||John P Thompson||Michael Cahill||12.3L||8||57kg||$101|
|14||15||OFFENSE||John P Thompson||Ric McMahon||12.6L||15||55kg||$201|
|15||11||NEW SPUR||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell||29.6L||5||57kg||$151|
|–||10||EXCELLENT AL||Len Treloar||Eddie Wilkinson||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||ROWIE||Paul Messara||Jim Byrne||–||0||–||–|
|–||21e||POET’S FORTUNE||Anthony Cummings||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||13||TONOPAH (USA)||Craig Ritchie||Damian Browne||–||0||–||–|
|–||17e||ALI VITAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|
|–||18e||PARAGGI (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Tim Clark||–||0||–||–|