Mossfun Definitely Running in Melbourne This Spring


Golden Slipper winner Mossfun will run in Melbourne this spring. Photo: Steve Hart.

Michael Hawkes who co-trains in partnership with his brother Wayne and Hall Of Fame father John Hawkes has confirmed their Golden Slipper winning filly Mossfun will definitely run in Victoria this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

New season plans for the talented daughter of Mossfun, who turns three next week, are wide open but one thing that is for sure is that she’ll race in Melbourne.

An $85,000 buy from last year’s William Inglis and Son Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Team Hawkes and connections never expected too much from the filly.

After she won her debut in the Inglis Nursery however, they began to re-evaluate the kind of talent they had on their hands.

Mossfun soon proved she was worth far more than her fairly moderate purchase price going on to win back-to-back Group races in the autumn including the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes by an impressive four lengths.

A second to the Darley-owned filly of the moment Earthquake followed in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes before she turned the tables on her then Peter Snowden-trained rival next start.

Mossfun and Earthquake both backed up in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), run in the wet at Rosehill on April 5, and ran the quinella with three quarters of a length separating the top two in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.

While connections of Blue Diamond Stakes winner and Golden Slipper runner-up Earthquake this spring are to target the mile races for fillies, where Mossfun will run and what she’ll take on are still being decided.

“You need to see how she comes back, how she looks and how she trials up,” Hawkes told RSN’s Racing Ahead this week.

Options include a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in Sydney on September 13 followed by a step up to a mile for the $400,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day on October 4.

If she shows potential over that kind of distance the other obvious target would then be Melbourne’s $1 million Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on Caulfield Guineas Day the following Saturday.

Of course a lot might come down to the track conditions and where the ground best suits her.

“Track conditions might play into it,” Hawkes said.

“Sydney tracks are rock hard and Melbourne tracks are wet. Mossfun’s a dead-set wet tracker. We know that, but she can go on the dry as well.

“We’re lucky. We’ve got a two-state operation and we can flick horses from one to the next. Mossfun could be here until Thursday night and be running in Sydney on Saturday.”

Currently in Melbourne gearing up for her three-year-old debut, Hawkes said that while many of the horses in their stables went between Sydney and Melbourne Mossfun hadn’t until her spell in the paddock.

“She’d never been to Melbourne before and there aren’t too many in our business that haven’t moved from our Sydney stable to Melbourne and vice versa,” Hawkes explained.

“She would canter the Melbourne way (anticlockwise) on her slow-work mornings in Sydney and we wanted to get her down here to have a look at the place.”

Without knowing where she’s going the bookies are taking no chances with Mossfun and have her, along with Earthquake, installed at the top of the futures markets for just about everything she could be eligible for.

In futures Golden Rose odds Earthquake is the $6 favourite just ahead of Mossfun at $7 before Gai Waterhouse’s JJ Atkins winning colt Almalad comes in for the boys at $9.

For the 2014 Thousand Guineas Earthquake again leads the markets at $5.50 but Mossfun is further down those odds at $13.

While the Thousand Guineas could be taken off the cards, Mossfun will definitely appear in something in Melbourne this time in perhaps in something shorter like the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day on November 1.

“She definitely will run in Melbourne over the spring. It just depends how she comes up,” Hawkes said of the lean filly who had grown over the let-up.

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