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The Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2014 campaign of top three-year-old Not Listenin’tome has been cut short, the Team Hawkes-trained galloper out with a virus.
Hot favourite for the $2.5 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12 after the son of Dylan Thomas’s excellent start to the season, Not Listenin’tome will now be out until the spring.
Connections informed Racing NSW stewards on Sunday that the gelding was to be spelled due to illness meaning the Hawkes’ father and sons training trio have lost one of the major autumn players.
Hall of Famer John Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his sons Michael and Wayne, said the team wasn’t dwelling on the loss however and were looking forward.
“These things happen in racing – you just have to move on,” Hawkes told The Sydney Morning Herald today.
“We will look after him and he will be back in the spring. We want to look after the horse because if you do, then they look after you.”
Runner-up to star northern Meteor colt Zoustar in the Coolmore Stud Stakes during last year’s spring carnival in Melbourne, Not Listenin’tome returned with a blistering four length win in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in February.
They then caught the eye last start at Randwick in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) when runner-up to then Doncaster Mile favourite Appearance.
Appearance and Not Listenin’tome were then the top two fancies to take out the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m).
The youngster was also leading markets for the TJ Smith Stakes over the shorter distance at the same Royal Randwick meet next month.
They have however been removed from both markets, their stablemate Messene new favourite for the Doncaster after their impressive three length Ajax Stakes win over the weekend.
The stable also have Ninth Legion in the mix for the Doncaster Mile 2014, the Fastnet Rock four-year-old a $67 roughie.
“Ninth Legion is in the race after winning the Villiers [Stakes in December], so he can go through the George Ryder Stakes [this Saturday] to protect his handicap,” Hawkes said.
“He will run well but at weight-for-age is not well-suited.
“Messene is there as well now, so we have a couple of really good chances going into the Doncaster. There is still a few weeks to go, but [Messene] has done the job so far.”
As for the TJ Smith Stakes 2014 odds, Mick Price’s Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Handicap double champion Lankan Rupee is now the top pick at $3.60.
The flying four-year-old is then followed by Rob Heathcote’s triple Group 1 winning Queenslander Buffering ($6.50) who resumed with a disappointing seventh in the Challenge Stakes on March 15 and the Chris Waller-trained Zoustar ($7) who was also below par first-up when eighth in the Canterbury Stakes behind Appearance.
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