Co-trainer Michael Hawkes is expecting top colts Ole Kirk and North Pacific to provide worthy competition for Queensland star Rothfire when they meet again over a longer trip in the Group 1 Golden Rose later this month.
Rothfire was a dominant winner by 1-½ lengths in the Group 2 Run To The Rose at Rosehill on Saturday but the Hawkes duo would have lost few admirers for their displays in the hotly paced 1200m.
Rothfire is now the clear bookies elect for the Golden Rose, shortening from $7 into $2.80 for the three-year-old Group 1 immediately after Saturday’s win.
Queenslander!! Rothfire gets the win in the Run To The Rose! pic.twitter.com/HLJ80842D2
But the Robert Heathcote-trained sprinter is set to face stiff competition from Hawkes duo who are crying out for the seven furlong test on September 26.
North Pacific is a $6 second elect for the Golden Rose while Ole Kirk is $13.
“They both went good and will both be suited by the step up to 1400m in a fortnight’s time,” Hawkes said after Saturday’s run.
“It (Run To The Rose) was one of those races where it just depended on the tempo and the rail was out 6m but I am very happy with both of them.”
Ole Kirk came from last and benefitted from the break neck speed set by Hugh Bowman on the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Farnan.
Jockey Tommy Berry gave the run his tick of approval.
Rothfire wins the Run To The Rose as North Pacific (white, middle) and Ole Kirk (dark green) run on at Rosehill. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images
“He was a little fresh in the yard today. He has had a break in between runs but is spot on for his main target the Golden Rose,” Berry said.
Ole Kirk is set to be the Hawkes main contender in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas after his Golden Rose assignment where he sits on the third line of betting at $11 alongside North Pacific.
North Pacific’s jockey James McDonald thought his performance on Saturday would have him cherry ripe for the Golden Rose.
Meanwhile, Wayne Hawkes confirmed on RSN on Sunday morning that Doubtland would target the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes down the Flemington straight following his impressive win in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes on Saturday.
“There‘s a big, fat tick now that he actually likes the straight. His last 200m was bullish, I thought,“ Hawkes said.
“His turn of foot is nothing short of electrifying that horse.
“The Coolmore‘s going to be his race, it’s just a matter of what we do with him now. There’s seven weeks to the race. How and where [he goes before then], I don’t know.”
Originally published asHawkes eyes top prize with star colts
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