Hauraki posted a number of commendable results in 2015 and trainer John O’Shea has revealed he will set the four-year-old for an appearance in the 2016 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington upon resuming in autumn.
Hauraki has posted an impressive three race wins and as many minors through only eleven competitive starts so far; returning this year for sixth in the William Hill Plate (1300m) at Sandown and while failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m), responded well to a continued step up in distance when second in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m), first in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and second in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).
Hauraki was last seen running on for a credible eighth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17th and O’Shea is confident he will progress into a serious chance of success in the 2016 Australian Cup.
“He was good,” O’Shea told Racing Ahead.
“To be fair he didn’t winter well and we were sort of just chasing our tail with him right up until he ran well in the Craven and then missed the kick in the Caulfield Cup.
“He has really spelled well this time and I think that he might be an improver.
“He will just stay around here.
“We have put him in the Australian Cup, but to be fair he has never raced well in Melbourne.
“He will probably around in the Ranvet and if he was going really well the opposite way and the opportunity presented itself to run in the Australian Cup than we would take it.”
Hauraki returned in spring for tenth in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) on September 5th; progressing to seventh in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and a close second to stable mate Complacent in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) in his only other start prior to the Caulfield Cup.
The Chris Waller-trained Preferment remains tied $6 favourite alongside Criterion in early 2016 Australian Cup betting markets.
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