Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes will employ a tried and true method with Messene this weekend, the returning Lonhro gelding to back up from a nice trial on Tuesday running in Saturday’s Missile Stakes 2014.
The six-year-old ran second over 900m in a Group & Listed Trial at Rosehill Gardens yesterday behind their stablemate Entirely Platinum in a nice result for the stable.
A big Sydney Spring Racing Carnival is likely on the cards for the duo now, but only Messene will back up and run this weekend.
Progressive stayer Entirely Platinum, who had nearly two lengths to spare over Messene in the trial, is lightly raced with only a dozen starts behind them and the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on October 4 looms as a nice target.
Messene meanwhile could also race at that same Randwick race day in the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
“Messene won seven straight in the autumn and then struck that heavy track in the Doncaster but he is a very exciting horse,” TAB’s Matt Jenkins told The Daily Telegraph on Monday.
“Entirely Platinum also put together a long winning streak and he’s a lightly raced stayer with a lot of potential.
“The sky is the limit for both horses — they could be two of the big hopes for the Hawkes stable during the spring carnival.”
Entirely Platinum will now be saved for August 16 where they will race in the $85,000 Spring Preview Handicap (1400m).
“For Entirely Platinum there’s a 1400m race for him on Saturday week,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes confirmed.
This weekend meanwhile Messene is engaged for the opening Group race of the season, a star-studded edition $175,000 Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) to take centre stage at Royal Randwick.
On Monday the 2014 Missile Stakes attracted 16 nominations including the Chris Waller-trained Group 1 winners Boban, Foreteller and Hawkspur; Joe Pride’s interesting duo of Laser Hawkes and Tiger Tees; the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane racing for the first time since a Stradbroke Handicap loss; and the John Sargent-trained Crown Oaks winner Kirramosa.
While exactly who will and won’t run in the carnival catalyst is still being decided, Team Hawkes confirmed Messene would accept and run in the weight-for-age showdown.
They’re last start was a disappointing seventh to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 12 where they failed due to the Heavy (9) track.
Before that though they were on fire winning seven races on the trot over 12 months from March – March.
Progressing well through the ranks Messene won their first black-type at Canberra first-up from the outside barrier 15 draw on March 9 in the Listed National Sprint (1400m).
Their winning hoop there James McDonald stayed on then as they stepped up to Group class to take their record to nine wins from 12 starts in Rosehill’s Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m).
In the Ajax they defeated the Chris Waller-trained import Weary in a top effort.
Astronomer Royal grey Weary trumped the form of the Ajax too going on to win the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m), run second to their stablemate in an all Waller-trained Doncaster Mile trifecta and then cross second to Japanese raider Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) last start.
Weary is one of Waller’s five Missile Stakes nominees and the most likely to run meaning Messene will be up against them again in an Ajax Stakes rematch.
The Missile Stakes 2014 field is set for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au along with the barrier draw.
Make sure you don’t settle for second best odds this weekend and into the spring by signing up with Ladbrokes.com.au who offer Best Tote or SP on all the races plus awesome bonuses and specials on the majors!