When the Team Hawkes trained filly Yearning rallied late along the inside and all but collared the $2.90 favourite Ashema on the Kensington track over 1100m on March 25, she cemented the lofty opinion in which she was held by the stable.
That was a day when the majority of runners fanned out on straightening with the better going given an advantage to those getting out widest in the run home.
Talking to Racing.com, Wayne Hawkes put that run into perspective. “I think all the good judges will realise that she was in the wrong part of the track. They came down the outside fence and she was caught back on the inside – so we think she might be ‘the one’.”
He added that Yearning (Snitzel – Rising Romance) was, “very, very smart.” (Rising Romance has a Group 1 ATC Oaks on her racing resume as well as a runner-up finish behind Admire Rakti in the Caulfield Cup).
Fast forward twelve days and Team Hawkes and their stable clients dug deep into their pockets in a bold and determined move, going to $2.5 million to secure the full brother to Yearning on Day 1 of the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
“He was the second horse that we saw Tuesday afternoon and dad (John Hawkes) turned me and Michael and said, ‘we’re taking this one home by hook or by crook’,” said Wayne Hawkes.
“We just put a heap of stable clients into the horse. When John Hawkes says I want, we’ve got to do our best to try and pull it together.
“When you have got one at home (Yearning) and then you look at this bloke and you look at him physically … you go wow, wow.”
But, as Hawkes pointed out, it is not just a question of buying from the same family as smart horses in your stable.
“There is a full brother for sale to one out there that we won with the other day. The vendor said, you haven’t looked at him. I said, we only looked at him once and we didn’t like him.
“My point is … even though they are brothers or sisters, you have got to like them. You don’t want to ever get caught up in buying the full brother or sister just for the sake of it.”
The Inglis Easter Yearling Sale had only really just got under way when Lot 5, an Exceed And Excel colt out of Peace Force from the Vinery Draft proved to be an early show-stopper when knocked down to Tony Fung Investments for $2.1 million.
“I thought he was the best colt here. He is obviously by a fabulous sire. He was a faultless individual. He looked sharp,” commented Aquis’ Shane McGrath.
“He’s got a great temperament. He seemed to handle everything very well. He has got a fabulous action. He has got a huge hip on him. I was just watching him walk around there and you can see him walking around in the Golden Slipper next year with a saddle on his back.
“He really suited our mould and hopefully going to be a future stallion prospect for us.”