The in-form Team Hawkes stable continued their gun run of form this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with former star juvenile Lake Geneva returning to winning form on Cox Plate Day in the 2015 Crockett Stakes.
The now three-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock was one of the most exciting fillies last season finishing third to Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and third to Vancouver in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
Her form this campaign had been mixed however and she was disappointing last time out only manage to finish nine lengths away eighth in Randwick’s Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
After a freshen-up and returning to Melbourne for the first time since February’s Blue Diamond, the now very valuable broodmare prospect enjoyed a step back in distance for the $120,000 Listed Antler Luggage Crockett Stakes (1200m).
The step down 200m off her last run and a smart ride from jockey James Winks, who never panicked despite Lake Geneva getting caught three wide the entire race, saw her back in the winners’ stall.
It was the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Haybah who won the jump before the Bryce Heys-trained Positive Charge drove up to take the lead from the last start Caulfield winner.
Colin & Cindy Alderson’s Gonski filly Miss Gidget moved up to third out wide from the fourth-placed Valley Sweetheart having just her second start for Peter Moody after a brilliant win on debut at Cranbourne on October 9 over 1200m.
Miss Gidget did it tough three wide in a moderately-run edition of the Crockett, and was desperately unlucky coming round the home bend getting slammed out of the race.
Lake Geneva, also posted wide throughout, started to close on the leaders dashing to the front as the sweepers came from around the turn down the straight.
In a tight photo finish the win went to one of the market movers Lake Geneva ($9) on the inside from the promising Valley Sweetheart ($21) who was also a touch unlucky getting interference around the bend.
Finishing off the Crockett Stakes trifecta in a close third was Peter & Paul Snowden’s Fastnet Rock filly Serene Majesty ($3.30), winner of the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last start, who also came with the late charge.
“I was three wide but I had cover,” winning hoop Winks explained post-win.
“She came down the straight really nice.
“She was very switched off in the run.
“Sometimes three deep’s a bit of a myth, as long as they’re happy and she was and she got the job done.”
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes was happy with the way Winks handled the far from ideal run and was also impressed with the winning filly who he said had probably done her job this campaign.
“She didn’t have the winners’ run did she?” he said.
“That’s why she got a bit tired, she worked hard and did everything right from three wide.
“Now she’s a very valuable stakes winner.
“We’ll see how she pulls up but she’s a Group 1 placed stakes winner now so it’s probably job complete.”
There is a slim chance that if she pulls up brilliantly, Lake Geneva could back-up next Saturday at Flemington down the straight taking on the colts and geldings in the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
The last Coolmore Stud Stakes winning filly on Victoria Derby Day was the John Thompson-trained Nechita who won at 4/1 in 2012.
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2015 Crockett Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Moonee Valley Race 5 – 24/10/2015
|1||5||LAKE GENEVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Winks||–||8||55kg||$8.50|
|2||10||VALLEY SWEETHEART||Peter G Moody||Glen Boss||0.1L||4||55kg||$18|
|3||1||SERENE MAJESTY||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.3L||9||57kg||$3.30F|
|4||8||NORTHERN MODEL||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Ben Melham||2.3L||2||55kg||$26|
|5||7||TIZ MY VIEW||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||Craig Williams||2.4L||6||55kg||$17|
|6||4||HARLEM RIVER||Gai Waterhouse||Ryan Moore||4.65L||3||56kg||$4.60|
|7||9||POSITIVE CHARGE||Bryce Heys||Damien Oliver||6.65L||5||55kg||$26|
|8||3||HAYBAH||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||8.15L||7||56kg||$9|
|9||6||MISS GIDGET||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Mark Zahra||14.15L||10||55kg||$6|
|10||12||GATTO’S GIRL||Angela Plumb||Jarrod Todd||18.65L||1||55kg||$201|
|–||2||ANTELUCAN Super||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||0||–||–|
|–||11||INNER CITY GIRL||Mark Riley||Hugh Bowman||–||0||–||–|