Much-travelled jockey Blake Spriggs will ride at his 14th track in the past month when he partners Sir John Hawkwood at the Gold Coast.
The Newcastle-based Spriggs has formed a successful association with Waratah Thoroughbreds’ owner Paul Fudge who races Sir John Hawkwood, a contender in Saturday’s Group Two Hollindale Stakes (1800m).
Fudge promised Spriggs plenty of rides if he was willing to travel and the young jockey has done just that.
The prominent owner, who celebrated victory in Thursday’s Warrnambool Cup with the Darren Weir-trained Master Zephyr, also has a large team with David Vandyke, trainer of Sir John Hawkwood.
Vandyke is in the process of relocating to the Sunshine Coast from Sydney and has been splitting the stable between two states recently.
He and Spriggs recorded their third win from four Queensland runners when Derby hopeful Brazen was an impressive winner at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.
“David and Paul have been very good to me and I am willing to ride where they want,” Spriggs said.
Sir John Hawkwood, a son of noted staying sire Sir Percy, won four times in England before coming to Australia in mid-2013.
He was trained by Craig Ritchie and Peter Moody before going to Vandyke nine months ago.
At his past two starts, Sir John Hawkwood has won the Group Three Sky High Stakes on March 12 and finished third in the Group Three Neville Sellwood Stakes on March 26.
“Sir John Hawkwood is a European-bred that can do it without much racing,” Vandyke said.
If all goes to plan on Saturday, the gelding will press on to the feature staying races during the Brisbane winter carnival.
Sir John Hawkwood is at $23 for the Hollindale with Godolphin’s Hauraki the $2.90 favourite from his stablemate Old North ($5.50).
Last year’s runner-up Sir Moments is an $8 chance while the 2015 winner Leebaz is a $35 outsider.