A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
A wet track at Rosehill for Saturday will play perfectly into the hands of the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained veteran stayer Fiumicino as they look to bounce back in the 2013 Winter Stakes.
The rising Zabeel 10-year-old bummed out on a Dead (4) Eagle Farm track last start on June 8 when four and a half lengths away 10th to the Chris Waller-trained Moriarty in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
“Fiumicino was buffeted a bit in the straight and that didn’t help him but, he is probably not up to that level these days,” Hall of Famer John Hawkes said.
They earned their shot at that Group 2 showdown, their first Group assignment since September of last year, after thriving on a Heavy (8) track at Randwick in late May to beat spring cups prospect Motivado by an easy three lengths in the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m).
With heavy rain in Sydney lashing the state’s racetracks Fiumicino is sure to get more suitable conditions for their latest run in the $100,000 Listed ATC Winter Stakes (2400m).
The course proper at Rosehill Gardens is currently a Heavy (10) and should remain within the Slow – Heavy range even with rain easing towards the end of the week.
Fiumicino’s record on rain-affected ground is very good with both of their former Group 1 victories achieved on Heavy tracks.
The first of those was the 2007 AJC Derby as a three-year-old, the second being in The BMW two years later.
While probably not up to Group 1 level at this final stage of their career, Team Hawkes are hoping Fiumicino can snare another black type before they bow out.
“He is in his right grade this Saturday and provided he isn’t badly weighted, he will run because he does love wet tracks,” Hawkes said.
The 2013 Winter Cup field and barriers will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.
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