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Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has named the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes 2015 in Melbourne as one of a host of options the team is considering for undefeated sprinter Deep Field who is likely to retire at the end of this campaign.
The Northern Meteor four-year-old has won all five of his career starts to date most recently breaking his Group maiden status on November 1 defeating Driefontein by a length in the Group 3 TAB.com.au Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
Now his connections at Hawkes Racing are plotting the autumn return of the stallion who is set to be sent to stud at the end of the prep.
At this stage they are hoping to keep he and star stablemate Chautauqua, last seen running a neck away second to Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8, separate during the early part of their autumn campaigns as long as possible.
“I’d prefer Chautauqua to go one way and Deep Field to go another so we can try and win as many races as possible for our clients,” Hawkes told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
In a bid to win more races and prize money for the connections, Hawkes said that unless it was a Grand Final clash in a race like the $2.5 Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in April the team would prefer for the top sprinters to travel separate paths.
“I can tell you JR Hawkes hates quinella-ing a race and very rarely do we ever do that, he reckons the victories cost the second horse the win, we have always tried to split our horses,” he added.
“Unless of course it’s a Caulfield Guineas or a Golden Slipper, a grand final if they ended up meeting in the TJ well so be it but if you could separate them well you try and win as many as you can.”
Hawkes said Deep Field was back in work and looking in top condition ahead of his return, which the whole crew were excited about.
“If you’ve ever seen Deep Field it’s the incentive for people to go to the races to see him, he is one special-looking horse there’s no doubt about that and he just oozes class,” he said.
After showing so much promise so far the autumn options are huge for a sprinter of Deep Field’s class with Hawkes naming the $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 21 as a possible early option.
“He has to trial and everything but there is stacks of races, there’s the Lightnings and in Sydney there’s good races like the TJ Smith worth lots of money, so we’re certainly in no rush, we’ll let him tell us,” Hawkes said.
“We are still to decide when we come down for the Lightning, or not, he probably will but it’s not 100 per cent certain.
The 2015 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival’s The Championships on Doncaster Mile Day, April 4, will then also be considered.
“It’s a bit unfortunate that a horse like Deep Field we may only get to see him two or three times more before he’s retired…so from our point of view we have to keep his record intact,” Hawkes said.
“It’s no point having all these grand master plans, if something goes wrong or if something’s amiss, nothing is with him, but you always like to make a last-minute decision just to make the right decision.”
There is also a chance Deep Field will be sent overseas to Royal Ascot during our winter before hitting the breeding barn.
“Nothing has been finalised by any stretch but it’s definitely there, there are about five different plans on the table so he certainly could end up at Royal Ascot but he could very easily not go it’s as simple as that,” Hawkes said.
Current TJ Smith Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Darley Classic winner Terravista ($4.60) followed by 2015 Newmarket Handicap-bound Chautauqua ($5) and Deep Field ($6).
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