An inside barrier draw will give Hawkshot his chance to turn the tables on Australian Guineas winner Mystic Journey in the inaugural running of the $5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Hawkshot set the pace from a wide barrier before being run down by Mystic Journey to finish second in the Group 1 $1m Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2.
Hawkshot had to cross to the front from the outside barrier in the sixteen horse Australian Guineas field while Mystic Journey had the suck run from the inside gate.
The barriers are reversed this week in the All-Star Mile and Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes can see Hawkshot getting an easy lead after drawing barrier four in the original draw but will probably jump from three if the first emergency Le Romain, who drew the rails, fails to gain a start.
The Adam Tinder trained Tassie filly Mystic Journey came up with sixteen when the final field was released but will move into twelve if all of the emergencies aren’t needed when the fourteen horse field is finalised at scratching time on Saturday morning.
“Delighted with four,” Hayes told the Herald Sun.
“That’s a perfect draw for him. He’ll be able to roll forward and won’t have to work as hard as he did in the Australian Guineas.
“He’ll be leading and if he gets an easy lead I’m sure he’ll be a good chance.
“He’s had a strong run at a mile and I think he’ll run a mighty race again.
“There was a lot of things against him in that race (Australian Guineas).
“He drew 17, there was a 40-knot headwind and it was a 37 degree day on a hard track.
“He probably had to work a little bit harder than we were expecting to cross them and when he got to the front he relaxed, kicked in the straight, but that early work told late.”
“He’s now had that tough run, he’s on an upward spiral and I think there’s a lot more to come from him.”
All-Star Mile jockey Mark Zahra has been Hawkshot’s regular jockey throughout this campaign and includes an all the way win two starts back in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9.
Hawkshot is at the double figure odds of $12 for the All-Star Mail with Ladbrokes.com.au while Mystic Journey is challenging Alizee ($3.60 favourite) for favouritism at $3.80.
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig will also saddle up Thousand Guineas winner Amphitrite who is marked as an $11 chance after drawing barrier fourteen with Craig Williams sticking with the filly.
Hayes is also expecting a good performance from Amphitrite even though she has drawn a wide barrier and can see Williams riding her nice and quiet.
“She’s drawn 14 but, if the emergencies come out, she comes into 11,” Ben Hayes said.
“I’m not too disappointed with that as that will make us ride her quiet from the barrier and we’ll bring her down the outside for one shot.
“Her last couple she’s drawn in and we’ve made use of the barrier. We know she runs well from out the back from when she was racing earlier in her career.
“We’ll ride her nice and patient, that’s my first instinct without speaking to Craig (Williams) yet. We’ll apply winkers to her and I hope that does the trick and give her an extra couple of lengths. She’ll improve as she’s third-up into a mile.”
The James Cummings trained Alizee is the winner of her last four starts, including a last start win in the Group 1 $500,000 Yulong Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 23 and will be ridden again but Hugh Bowman who will be looking to get some early cover from an awkward barrier draw.