The Hawkesbury stand-alone meeting will be held this Saturday (22nd Apr). The course proper was rated a Soft 5 on Thursday. Overcast weather with light showers forecast over the next couple of days and Hawkesbury will remain in the Soft range on raceday.
The very consistent Ausbred Flirt looks a good bet in the Blakes Marine BM78 Handicap (Hawkesbury Race 4, 1800m). The Brad Widdup-trained mare has won four races with further two placings from ten career starts. She did a good job finishing 3.5 lengths behind Zapateo first-up in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes before being too good in a Warwick Farm BM72 race carrying 60kg. Stepping up in trip will suit and she can handle any track conditions. The 4YO has the early speed to go forward from a wide gate and sit outside likely leader Highballer and Ausbred Flirt is the one they have to catch.
The speedster Andermatt could prove too nippy for this field in the Hawkesbury Gold Rush (Hawkesbury Race 6, 1100m). This Godolphin-owned 5YO has been racing against stars like Nature Strip and Overpass and he wasn’t beaten far by Mariamia last start in the Group 1 The Galaxy. The gelding has superior wet track form and 1100m is his pet distance having won four times at the trip. In a very fast run race, James McDonald will drop back behind mid-field and Andermatt will finish off the race strongly.
Champion rider Joao Moreira could combine with Chris Waller-trained Lord Ardmore to take out the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (Hawkesbury Race 9, 1600m). First-up this campaign in the Group 1 Doncaster Prelude, the 5YO was plagued by a wide gate and had to drop back to last before running on well and the gelding finished a half-length 4th last start at Warwick Farm over a mile. Fitter on Saturday and staying at the mile suits. Drawn beautifully in gate 4, Moreira will be able to settle just off the pace and get a cosy run in transit and Lord Ardmore will be ready to pounce rounding the home turn.
By Owens Wong