The Hawkesbury Wrap : 27th April 2019

The Hawkesbury Timeform recap featuring a race by race overview of key performers and ones to watch from the Hawkesbury stand alone meeting on April 27.

Irithea. Picture: (Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Signore Fox.
Signore Fox. Picture: Steve Hart

The Hawkesbury standalone meeting has long proven a happy hunting ground for Team Snowden and it was no different on Saturday with the stable training three winners.

Military Zone was the pick of them, taking out the Hawkesbury Guineas, a race success which bodes well for the remainder of his season.


Military Zone.
Military Zone. Picture: Racing and Sports

A host of other runners at the meeting booked their tickets to Brisbane with strong performances including Creator, Irithea and Sixties Groove.

Race 1: Free Fly Too - Provincial Stayers Benchmark 78 3YO+ Handicap (2100m)

Free Fly Too bounced to the front and got away with murder there with some cheap mid sectionals. After that soft lead the son of Teofilo was able to kick nicely in the straight.

It was a career best display by the Hayes-Dabernig runner.

While that was his eighth run this prep, the four-year-old only has a Benchmark of 72 after Saturday. Benchmark staying races are short on depth at the best of times so with the off season edging closer, they might as well just keep running him around.

Belfast Bella was luckless in second. She was held up until inside the furlong but strong late when finally getting clear.

Raqeeq was good to the line for third in what was easily his best run this prep. The Chris Waller-trained import should be ready for those off season staying races now. Watch for him next start fourth up along with stablemate Bajan Gold who is knocking on the door as well.

Race 2: Tamarack - Benchmark 78 3YO+ Handicap (1500m)

Tamarack settled off midfield and was under riding a long way out but maintained a long, sustained run. It was a career best effort first up which is highly encouraging.

So You Win was charging home in second. It was a good start to his prep. He may be ready for a good winter campaign. The son of So You Think shapes as the horse to follow from what overall was a race of minimal interest.

Race 3: Creator - Listed Clarendon Stakes (1300m)

Certainly not a bad way to shed the maiden tag. Creator was strong late despite travelling back and wide. The son of Redoute’s Choice had the Blinkers applied for the first time. It’s pretty clear from the improvement he showed on his first two runs the two-year-old is a Blinkers colt.


The Team Snowden youngster returned a Timeform rating of 102 for the victory. He ran times just marginally outside standard both overall and final 600m.

He’s booked his ticket north now for races like the BRC Sires’ and the JJ Atkins.


Creator. Picture: (Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Brandenburg was solid late in third. The John Sargent-trained runner has kicked off his prep with two good minor placings now.

It’s worth noting Brandenburg is by a kiwi sire Burgundy. Through three seasons with only minimal runners, Burgundy has already sired seven stakes winners in New Zealand. We’re seeing a few sneak over to Australia. It will be interesting to see how they go.

Race 4: Irithea - Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown (1300m)

Credit must be given to Bjorn Baker for how well this girl was placed. Irithea had a Benchmark of 104 so would have been giving her rivals substantial weight under handicap conditions. On Saturday the daughter of Snitzel was on the minimum under Set Weights plus Penalties.


Josh Parr was able to lead, pinched a break around the home turn and held it.

104 is the Timeform rating we’ve landed on. It’s a career best run from Irithea and also her first black type win.

Her and Multaja left their rivals behind in the straight. They should each go to the Dark Jewel Classic at Scone in two weeks.

The Dark Jewel Classic might represent Multaja’s last campaign run. Irithea on the other hand is much earlier in her prep and looks a certainty for the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

Realistically Irithea’s campaign should stretch through to the Tatt’s Tiara in June.

Race 5: Major Danger - Class 2 Highway Handicap (1100m)

Major Danger bowled along at a decent clip out in front but still produced a nice kick in the straight.


It’s a solid start to his time contesting Highway Handicaps. Danny Williams certainly placed the Time Thief gelding well third up and in a Class 2 Highway Handicap. The Class 3 Highway Handicaps tend to have a bit more depth about them.

The good news for Major Danger is there’s another Class 2 Highway Handicap over 1200m at Rosehill in three weeks. He only has a Benchmark of 62 after Saturday so again should be nicely placed in it.

Race 6: Intuition - Listed Hawkesbury Gold Rush (1100m)

Intuition has recorded a last to first victory thanks in part to a patient ride by Rachel King. The pair went back from the wide draw, were looking for a run in the straight and got the split they needed inside the furlong.


This was Intuition’s third straight win and for it returned a Timeform rating of 103. It’s the same figure he netted for winning the Bert Lillye Memorial at Kembla Grange the run prior.

At this stage, Listed level looks about his mark. Intuition certainly doesn’t profile as a world beater but highlights how important good placement is. Eight wins from 19 starts with almost $400,000 prizemoney.

The son of Street Cry should go to the Ortensia Stakes in two weeks, or potentially find something in Brisbane.

Tactical Advantage resumed nicely in second. The Bel Esprit gelding gave all his rivals substantial weight and was only narrowly beaten. He looks in store for a good prep. The five-year-old has been ultra consistent for Kris Lees with four wins and three placings from nine starts since Australian Bloodstock picked him up.

Race 7: Military Zone - Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m)

Military Zone is a gelding who tends to get back so needs things to fall his way. The Hawkesbury Guineas set up for him beautifully. The son of Epaulette didn’t settle as far back as normal and Kylease set a nice gallop for him to rattle home off.

The three-year-old produced a Timeform rating of 109. It’s a career best for him and the highest winning figure of a Hawkesbury Guineas since Spill The Beans won in 2016.

Military Zone’s prior peak came when winning the Gosford Guineas in the summer.


The Inglis Guineas is next for him. It’s a big money race for three-year-olds who are perhaps that couple of lengths off the best of their crop.

The Snowden’s have a great record in it too. They are shooting for their third straight win in the race. France won in 2017 and Moss Trip won last year. Like Military Zone she was also a Triple Crown Syndications runner.

The Hawkesbury Guineas is a good race to win heading toward a Queensland Winter Carnival.

Previous winners Najoom (2015, Fred Best Classic), Spill The Beans (2016, QTC Cup) and Sambro (2018, Queensland Guineas) all went on to win races that winter in Queensland.

Chautauqua won the Hawkesbury Guineas in 2014 and became a star the following season.

Race 8: Archedemus - Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m)

Archedemus bowled along out in front and kept going. Jockey Corey Brown probably knew he was home when he saw Tom Melbourne was the only challenger.

The son of Lope De Vega ran to 104 for the win. He had nothing on his back against a pretty limited field so the display came in well below the five year winning average of the race.


Regardless, he’s only lightly-raced and showing some great versatility with wins from 1100m up to a mile now.

There are options for Archedemus in Brisbane. He’s been up for a while but he’s a rising six-year-old with just nine starts to his name so if he’s sound, has to be running.


Archedemus. Picture: (Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Races like the Festival Stakes and the Villiers over the Summer could be longer term goals too.

Tom Melbourne produced his best run since winning the Carrington Stakes in January. If it wasn’t Tom, you would say watch for him fourth run from a spell in Brisbane as he should be peaking.

Sixties Groove was great first up. We’ve already seen Australian Bloodstock horses switch from Darren Weir to Kris Lees and do good things this autumn, namely Red Cardinal and Big Duke.

This guy looks set to join that club over winter. This will be his second full campaign in Australia.

The Chairman’s Handicap in Brisbane on May 11 or the Lord Mayor’s Cup in Sydney the following week shape as suitable options. Connections may even shoot for the stars and contest the Doomben Cup on May 18.

Race 9: Signore Fox - Benchmark 78 3YO+ Handicap (1300m)

Signore Fox settled off pace, in behind the early leaders. He was full of running along the rail when everything else moved off the fence.

The son of Exceed And Excel drew right away from them. He’s improved with each run this prep. The three-year-old has a Benchmark of 77 after Saturday meaning the stable can keep gradually work him through the grades.

He’s a BOBS horse too, so connections can win almost $100k for picking up an off season handicap.

The same can be said for the runner up Wagner.

While the overall quality of racing drops off over winter, there are always a host of progressive three-year-olds who work right through their grades chasing BOBS bonuses.

Even though we aren’t being wowed by Group 1 stars from May through July, we can still be lining our pockets by latching onto these three-year-olds.

Racing and Sports


Saturday, 27th April 2019


Blacktown Wrks Hawkbury Gneas (G3)

Age: 3yo Type: OPEN
AUD $201,750
AUD $201,750
1400m GOOD

Blacktown Wrks Hawkbury Gneas (G3)

Age: 3yo Type: OPEN
FP Silk Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
1st 2. MILITARY ZONE (AUS) 3yo G
Triple Crown Syndications (Mgr: C H Ward), J Bourke, D Whatson, J L Pfeiffer, P J Reimann, Mrs B E King, J H Hezlett, P C Gambell, R P Le Guier, D Wilden-Constantin, V Wilden-Constantin, G Foye, G Nabarro, Mrs A Gibson, C Charalambous & Windii Hill Racing (Mgr: M W Upton)

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2nd 5. TROPE (AUS) 3yo C
A R Bell

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3rd 3. QUACKERJACK (AUS) 3yo G
F Mittiga, Mrs M Mittiga, Mrs M Mittiga, Ms D Andrich, A Coluccio, R De Maria, D Lilley, G Macdonald, Ms A Chin, Dr I Smith, D & L Alford (Mgr: D Alford), G1g Racing & Breeding (Mgr: Mrs T Vogel) & Nick Vass Bloodstock (Mgr: N Vass)

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4th 1. RANIER (AUS) 3yo C
5th 4. SHERIFF (AUS) 3yo C
6th 8. EAWASE (AUS) 3yo F

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7th 6. COME ALONG (NZ) 3yo G

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8th 7. REIBY'S REGENT (AUS) 3yo C
9th 9. KYLEASE (AUS) 3yo F

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