Lightly-raced stayer Laser Hawk lived up to Gai Waterhouse’s predictions with a stirring victory in the Rosehill Guineas on a day the trainer took centre stage once again.
Autumn in Sydney is when the Waterhouse star shines brightest and a winning feature race treble signalled her intentions for the rest of the carnival.
Laser Hawk beat off a trans-Tasman challenge from Ocean Park and Silent Achiever to win the Group One Guineas (2000m) at just his fifth race start.
“He has beaten the best Australasia has to offer,” Waterhouse said.
“He did what he is bred to do. It’s wonderful.
“This horse took a big step today and it’s just super.”
After jumping out ahead of the pack, Nash Rawiller gave up the lead on Laser Hawk ($5.50) to Doctor Doom who led the field into the straight.
It was a charge to the line with Laser Hawk taking the lead inside the 200m while Ocean Park ($10) and Silent Achiever ($3.20 fav) were coming down the outside.
Under vigorous riding by Rawiller, Laser Hawk held off Ocean Park by a half-neck with Silent Achiever a long head away third.
“He lived up to his potential,” Rawiller said.
“After the Randwick Guineas I’ve never been so excited about a horse since Elvstroem.
“He (Laser Hawk) is all class. He’s a bloody good horse.”
Multiple Group One winner Elvstroem propelled Rawiller into the spotlight and was the forerunner to the rider’s move from Melbourne to Sydney.
Laser Hawk finished third, beaten just half a length, in the Randwick Guineas two weeks ago won by Mosheen.
Trainer Roger James was pleased with the effort of New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever who could meet Laser Hawk again in the Australian Derby on April 14.
“It’s hard to peak a horse for 2400 metres and bring them back to 2000,” he said.
“She ran well.
“Both the Oaks and the Derby are open to her but we’ll wait and see.”
Fellow Kiwi Gary Hennessy said Ocean Park would not be heading to the Derby.
“He showed a huge amount of heart,” Hennessy said.
“He won’t run in the Derby. He will run in the Tulloch Stakes next Saturday.
“Glen (Boss) said they started to pull up and he had to go around them.
“Glen said he was a real Group One horse and it’s good to get comments like that from a rider of his calibre.”
Laser Hawk is the first Australian Group One winner by Artie Schiller who shuttles between Kentucky and the Independent Stallion Station in Victoria.
He is raced by Eduardo Cojuangco’s Gooree Stud.
“We knew he was very promising but he’s come a long way very quickly,” Gooree manager Andrew Baddock said.
“He’s very raw still.
“Gai is a marvel and our horses fit her beautifully.”
Waterhouse’s other winners were Hallowell Belle in the Listed Darby Munro (1200m) and Niagara in the Group Two Ajax Stakes (1500m).