Wet track specialist Hawk Island produced a stunning Sydney Cup trial to win the Listed JRA Plate with a big weight at Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Chris Waller labelled the imported gelding’s win over Galizani in the 2000m event as a good gallop for next Saturday’s Sydney Cup (3200m) and it pocketed connections the $60,000 first prize money.
Hawk Island also took his heavy track record to six wins from nine attempts when he lumped equal topweight of 61kg in an impressive display.
Metropolitan Handicap winner Herculian Prince went to the front and bowled along out on his own with Glyn Schofield content to sit back on Hawk Island ($3.70 fav).
The six-year-old son of Hawk Wing angled his way between runners from the top of the straight and despite his big weight ploughed through the going to score his 10th career win.
Galizani ($5) got to within half a length of the winner while Hawk Island’s stablemate Vintedge ($9) held on for third after hitting the front in the straight.
Hawk Island is handicapped on 54.5kg for the Sydney Cup but is likely to carry the 57kg topweight as the weights are set to be raised.
“He’s shown he can carry weight and we’ll see how good the rest are next week,” Waller said.
“Today was his final gallop for the Sydney Cup. We thought about not running him but it was worth a bit of prizemoney to win a gallop and that will top him off nicely for next week.”
Waller is set to have three Sydney Cup runners with Hawk Island to be joined by fellow imported stayers Strike One and Stand To Gain.
Sydney’s premiership-leading trainer believes Hawk Island will relish the Cup distance.
“I reckon he’ll be perfect at two miles, he’s out of a Sadler’s Wells mare,” he said.
“It’s not easy to back up but he’s a tough horse and he’s done the mileage. We can just back off now, plus he has been set for the Sydney Cup all along.”