Doncaster Mile favourite Messene impressed Rosehill track watchers on Tuesday morning with a winning gallop.
The Team Hawkes trained Messene is going into Saturday’s Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick with wins from his last seven starts and has continued to impress on the track as well.
Rosehill clocker John Moc has been following Messene’s progress throughout his career and can’t see the five year old getting beaten on Saturday.
“Messene has won his last seven race starts in very good fashion and he can continue tomorrow and win the Group 1 1600m Doncaster for Team Hawkes,’ Moc wrote in his column for the Sportsman today.
Messene worked over 1000m in 1.11.81, running home the last 600m in 39.77 and his final 200m in 12.04 seconds in the wet on the inside grass on Tuesday morning with Moc describing it as a race winning gallop.
“It was the best of the morning gallop on a soft surface. It was winning work,” Moc wrote.
Messene is going into the Doncaster Mile with three weeks in between runs but the Hawkes Team have kept the Lonhro gelding up to the mark with a barrier trial hit out over 835m at Randwick on April 4.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said even though Messene was beaten two lengths by T J Smith Stakes favourite Lankan Rupee, he did enough to be spot on for Saturday.
“He’s well, we’ve got him as good as we can. He trialled last Friday and we’ve kept him ticking over. He’s fit, and he’s still the horse to beat,’’ Michael Hawkes told The Daily Telegraph.
Messene’s only hiccup in is Doncaster Mile preparation was on Tuesday when he came up barrier eighteen in the original draw but will jump from sixteen if the two emergencies don’t gain a run.
“He’ll run a strong mile, and they’re the cards we’ve been dealt,” Hawkes said.
The five year old year hasn’t raced since scoring a two and three quarter lengths win over the Chris Waller trained Weary in the $175,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22.
The form line has proved strong with Weary coming out and gaining a start in the Doncaster Mile with a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
The Randwick track is currently rated a heavy 8 and this could prove to be another hurdle to overcome with Messene not having any experience on a slow or heavy track with all his wins being on good and dead surfaces.
Ladbrokes.com.au have Messene as the $4.60 favourite for the Doncaster Mile with the first of Waller’s six runners, Weary, coming in for some steady support to be the $6 second pick.
Waller’s other runners who are prominent in the market order are Hawkspur at $9.50, and Sacred Falls and Royal Descent who share the next line of betting with New Zealand colt El Roca at $12.