Team Hawkes may have lost their major three-year-old player from the early spring races due to a virus but there is still strength in the stable’s younger ranks including Saturday’s 2014 San Domenico Stakes hope Nostradamus.
Michael Hawkes, who co-trains with his brother Wayne and Hall of Fame father John Hawkes, this week confirmed their Golden Slipper winning filly Mossfun was suffering from a virus that has delayed her new season return.
Originally set to run first-up Saturday week in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes, the exciting daughter of Mossfun was found to have a temperature and will instead be rested.
“Unfortunately she’s had a bit of a temperature … which sort of puts a bit of a bleak picture on her program,” Hawkes told Sky Sports Radio on Tuesday.
“We’ve decided to do the right thing by her and give her a short break.”
Connections still have an eye on a late season return with the $2.5 million earner though ahead of a possible shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on the opening Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting on November 1.
With Mossfun is out the crew are then turning their attention to some of their other promising three-year-olds including Nostradamus who is one of two in the mix first-up for the Hawkes at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
The Medaglia D’Oro colt, along with their stablemate Bugatty, is one of the now 10 nominees for Saturday’s $125,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
Winner on debut at Flemington but out of the money in their next two runs back in February, Nostradamus was very competitive in their opening campaign.
Second-up off their victory they were two lengths away fourth behind Rubick, also now suffering a virus delaying their comeback, in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) where the outside barrier 16 draw beat them.
They went into the Group 1 then a fortnight later and were far from disgraced in another good run from out wide making up late ground to cross under four lengths away seventh behind subsequent Golden Slipper runner-up Earthquake in the Blue Diamond Stakes.
Hawkes trialed them on Monday ahead of their Saturday return and they showed they were race fit with a 760m win at Hawkesbury.
That jump-out was made even more noteworthy by the horse Nostradamus beat home by a nose, Peter Moody’s Golden Slipper third placegetter Bring Me The Maid.
“At this stage he has pulled up really well and all going we’ll accept for Saturday for the San Domenico,” Hawkes said.
The fellow Hawkes-trained San Domenico Stakes hope Bugatty also goes into the race on the back of a trial win having put three and a half lengths on Chris Waller’s Group 2 winner and Group 1 runner-up Brazen Beau over 900m at Rosehill on August 4.
That hit-out also featured a run from Law in third, a new edition to Waller’s stable after a transfer from Gai Waterhouse who is also set to run in the San Domenico on Saturday.
The San Domenico Stakes 2014 field and barriers are due out shortly so stay tuned.
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