Sydney’s premier horseman Chris Waller has made a final decision on Hawkspur’s latest 2013 Caulfield Cup lead-up, the smart galloper to run in the George Main Stakes and not the Hill Stakes in Sydney on Saturday.
Waller will saddle-up four of the nine runners in the $350,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on the weekend after confirming his Melbourne-bound champion Hawkspur will definitely be running.
“I think he’s fit and I wanted to keep some speed in him,” Waller told The Daily Telegraph.
The Purrealist four-year-old was originally a dual acceptor at the meeting also paid up for in the $200,000 Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) where they would be going up from a mile last start.
After a little deliberation Waller opted to scratch them from the Hill Stakes, the master trainer also removing his Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up from the mix, knowing there are no distance issues with Hawkspur.
“He’s already won over 2200m and 2400m, so when I step him up I know there will be no problems,” he said.
“And he’s ahead of where I need him to be fitness-wise in terms of the Caulfield Cup.
“Plus, he was so convincing over the mile last start, so why not give him another chance?”
Winner of the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) in Brisbane last season, Hawkspur was last seen winning the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) second-up at Randwick.
That three and a half length victory over Beaten Up put them right in the frame for a trip across the border this spring with Waller set to take them to the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
Dominant $2.90 favourite in the George Main Stakes odds for the weekend, Hawkspur is also heading Caulfield Cup betting at a current quote of $9 – a price set to firm if they salute for the punters on Saturday.
Their biggest danger in the George Main is perceived to be their Australian Oaks winning stablemate Royal Descent ($6.50) followed by the Peter Moody-trained youngster Dissident ($7) who carries only 50.5kg under the weight-for-age conditions of the clash.
While happy with the progress of the others in his George Main contingent, Waller believes the bookies have got it right.
“If Hawkspur runs up to his form from the other day he’s the one they have to beat,” he said.
Following the George Main Hawkspur will travel to Victoria for the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5 before their Caulfield Cup assignment two weeks later.
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