Jockey Dwayne Dunn celebrated his second success in the stallion-making Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas 2016 in a 10/10 ride on the Team Hawkes-trained winner Divine Prophet.
Dunn rode All Too Hard (2012) to victory in the mile set weights classic for three-year-olds four years ago and was back in the winners’ stall for this year’s $1 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Sydney raider Divine Prophet.
Prepared by Hall of Famer John Hawkes, who won the race with star stallion Lonhro back in 2001 and in partnership with his sons Michael and Wayne with All Too Hard, Divine Prophet got the gun run from barrier one.
“I showed in that race then to be patient, let the horse come up underneath you and if they’re good enough they’ll win,” Dunn said post-victory.
Coming through the big Sydney spring features including the Golden Rose (4th) and the Stan Fox Stakes (2nd), the Choisir colt posted his first elite level after coming close as a two-year-old in the Champagne Stakes back in April.
The now very valuable stud prospect returned to the form that saw him win in Sydney first-up in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m), Divine Prophet switching off beautifully in the Guineas and running out a very strong 1600m.
The Stan Fox Stakes winner Impending got a good jump from the barriers, but settled back into fourth last.
Evacuation was also quick away looking for the lead and found it on the inside with Kerrin McEvoy taking him up to the front after riding the Thousand Guineas winner Global Glamour one race earlier.
Divine Prophet was travelling fifth after settling, Dunn timing the ride to perfection letting the likes of pace-setter Evacuation, Revolving Door and Good Standing do the early work.
In a day where the on-pace runners had been dominating the results, it was the backmarkers that got the benefit in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas.
Around the turn Evacuation led narrowly but the in-form Tony McEvoy-trained Hey Doc, on the quick back-up after winning last Friday night’s Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, quickly burst through putting himself into the mix.
Impending followed through on his back, but on the straight Dunn got the gap with Divine Prophet.
The Lindsay Park-trained Seaburge on the back of a fourth in the Prelude also started to fly home late coming hard and looking the winner full of running.
But Divine Prophet ($7) dug in and held on in a blanket finish in the Guineas to defeat roughie shot Seaburge ($31) with Hey Doc ($12) in third, the winner looking strong over the mile in a busy finish after peeling off the good late sectionals.
Beaten favourite Impending ($3.60), doing his best work late, finished off the first four for the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas exotics.
“It was about finding a passage through on the straight and he got the rest done,” Dunn said giving plenty of post-win praise to Divine Prophet.
“I just like his temperament and attitude, he wants to work with you not against you and that’s all you can ask.”
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was thrilled with the result knowing what it meant for Divine Prophet’s stallion value, but was keeping the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) option open to tackle Winx in a fortnight at The Valley.
“Winx is Winx and Divine Prophet is Divine Prophet,” he admitted.
“To be fair this was our Grand Final and we won this race with Lonhro and he was favourite for the Cox Plate, but we pulled the pin.
“As everyone knows we put the horse first.
“If the Cox Plate is there and he’s right that’s one thing. But if he wants to go to the paddock he’ll be on the first float.”
The other option is to step Divine Prophet up in distance for a Flemington run on October 29 tackling the $1.5 million Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m), but again Hawkes said the horse would dictate plans.
“It’s always there,” he said.
“But after all is said and done the Caulfield Guineas is the race for stallions and now he’s done it.
“A great effort.”
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2016 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 8 – 08/10/2016
|1||4||DIVINE PROPHET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||–||1||56.5kg||$7|
|2||7||SEABURGE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||0.2L||9||56.5kg||$31|
|3||5||HEY DOC||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||0.7L||13||56.5kg||$11|
|4||2||IMPENDING||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1.7L||10||56.5kg||$3.50F|
|5||13||SO SI BON||Robbie Laing||Michael Dee (a)||1.9L||12||56.5kg||$71|
|6||6||SARACINO (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damien Oliver||2.1L||4||56.5kg||$10|
|7||3||GOOD STANDING||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||2.3L||11||56.5kg||$7|
|8||1||SACRED ELIXIR (NZ)||Tony Pike||Damian Lane||2.7L||7||56.5kg||$6.50|
|9||11||LAND OF PLENTY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||3.95L||14||56.5kg||$71|
|10||14||BARBIE’S BOY||Louise Bonella||Daniel Stackhouse||4.05L||2||56.5kg||$151|
|11||9||WAZZENME||Stuart Webb||Luke Nolen||4.45L||5||56.5kg||$18|
|12||12||KACHING||Ciaron Maher||Nicholas Hall||4.95L||6||56.5kg||$21|
|13||10||EVACUATION||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Kerrin McEvoy||5.15L||3||56.5kg||$15|
|14||8||REVOLVING DOOR||Clinton McDonald||Corey Brown||5.9L||8||56.5kg||$51|