Regally bred colt Ole Kirk lived up to his pedigree to claim a second Group 1 win with his victory in the $2m Neds Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield today.
The Team Hawkes trained Ole Kirk was coming off a last start win in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago and reproduced that winning form today.
Ole Kirk is by the in-form sire Written Tycoon, out of the mare Naturale who is a full sister the unbeaten champion mare Black Caviar.
Champion Perth jockey William Pike took over the reins on Ole Kirk from Golden Rose winning jockey Tommy Berry and claimed his fourth win for the day, and his second Group 1 win after steering Arcadia Queen to victory in the Group 1 $1m Neds Stakes (2000m).
Pike positioned Ole Kirk in the middle of the field and was trailing the equal favourite Tagaloa ($4.20) until the 700m.
Pike then had to re-position Ole Kirk ($4.20 equal favourite) back to the fence when Tagaloa went amiss, but he was then able to work to the outside shortly after entering the straight.
Ole Kirk balanced up in the middle of the track and stormed home to claim victory over the Lindsay Park trained Aysar ($19).
Third placegetter Grandslam ran a mighty race at $61 and fought on in the run to the line after setting the pace.
Wayne Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, said that Ole Kirk would be sent for a break now and after proving to be the best three year old in the country.
“What it means is that he is the best three year old in the country,” Wayne Hawkes said.
“If they want to retire him I am happy with that.”
“He was probably the toughest two year old as I have ever had in my hands and I have been lucky to have had some good ones to work with.”
“He is the best three year old in the country now and he can go to the paddock now and have a well-earned break.”
“Hats off to Willie. It is not easy to win four. He was cool, he was clam, he was relaxed. He said I am on the best horse and I will get the job done.”