Broadmeadow trainer Kris Lees is hoping for a nice first-up run from Hathras this Saturday in Sydney before the galloper moves onto races including The Metropolitan at home ahead of a possible shot at the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
The imported Dansili stallion runs for the first time as a four-year-old at Royal Randwick on Missile Stakes Day, Hathras accepted for a resuming run in the $85,000 Calcoup Knitwear Handicap (1600m).
Last seen running sixth to Tremec in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) in mid-April, Hathras enjoyed a number of good runs during their maiden prep down under.
Joining Lees’ operation from Germany at the start of the year they won two of their opening three starts here.
Their first win came second-up at Rosehill with a tidy four length victory over 1800m in the wet.
Proving they were versatile on all grounds they backed up 19 days later at Warwick Farm this time racing on a much firmer Good (3) track to put an emphatic nine lengths on Miss opulence in a one-maiden-win handicap over 2200m.
They were outclassed over the mile and a half next start however when two and a half lengths away seventh to Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) before their disappointing run in the Chairman’s.
While happy with his horse and how they’ve come on since then Lees knows they will take a lot of improvement from the run and probably won’t be ready to hit the winner’s stall straight up.
“I’m pleased with how he has come back albeit as is the case with most older stayers he’s a little more dour,” Lees told AAP.
“The fact he couldn’t win a Class 1 first-up last preparation at Newcastle doesn’t fill me with confidence heading into a Saturday but it’s a nice race to kick things off for him.
“I just want to see him hitting the line and he came on tremendously off one run last time.”
Instead they will progress through the better races in Sydney eventually looking for a Group 1 trophy in a race like the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) back at Randwick on October 5.
“The realistic goals are Newcastle Cup and Metropolitan,” Lees said, with the $200,000 Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) to run on September 19.
From there the natural progression should they perform well would be onto Melbourne for the riches on offer there.
“If you win a Metropolitan then the Melbourne races come right into the picture,” Lees added.
“I just think he might be that grade below but I’ll be happy if I’m proven wrong.”
Lees has already taken the initiative and nominated Hathras for both the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 and Moonee Valley’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) a week later.
He also plans to nominate the horse for the world’s richest handicap when first entries for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), run as Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November, are taken in early September.
Futures betting for all the majors are already open at the online bookies down under.
Hathras is $51 Caulfield Cup roughie, is even longer at $81 for the Cox Plate and hasn’t even been entered in the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds as yet.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the spring racing updates including those on Hathras.
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