Wayne Hawkes could not be more pleased with the condition of Messene leading into his seventh run of the season, but has revealed the seven-year-old is no sure thing to contest Saturday’s featured Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington as a result of the heavily rain-affected track.
Messene has posted an impressive nine wins and five minors through twenty-two career starts since first appearing competitively for Team Hawkes in early 2012 but has displayed a clear disdain for races on heavy tracks.
Having failed to make up any ground when eighth on a soft track at Flemington in the Group 3 Guvera Stakes (1400m) last weekend, Hawkes told Racing Ahead the team sees no point in risking the Lonhro gelding on a heavy track and will have no issue removing him from contention should conditions remain dire.
“He’s going great and going super,” Hawkes said.
“His problem is he doesn’t like wet tracks so there’s a big question mark over whether he runs.
“He’s got the Winx form in running fourth or fifth in the Epsom and she got held up too there’s no doubting it, but he got held up pretty ordinary and probably should have run second.
“Last Saturday he didn’t like the shifty ground and never got a crack at them.
“We might have to save him for another day I think because we know he doesn’t like wet track and there’s no point running on these sorts of tracks because all you do is rip the guts out of them and they don’t win anyway.”
Messene remained in the paddock for close to a year following a short and lacklustre 2014 Spring Carnival campaign, but stamped his claims as one to follow upon resuming this time for a credible fifth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on August 8th.
Progressing to third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) amongst particularly classy company a fortnight later, Messene failed to match the late pace in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) but recovered to finishing third in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) and fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) leading into his most recent effort.
Messene remains in 2015 Emirates Stakes betting markets, and can be taken at a quote of $51 for success.
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