One of the finest Australian racehorses of the modern era will provide an autumn form template for Hooked to run up to expectations in Saturday’s Frank Packer Plate at Randwick.
Might And Power won the 1997 Frank Packer Plate by six lengths and he returned in the spring of the same year to claim the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.
His Plate victory came after a luckless and close fourth in the Australian Derby and a midfield placing in the Rosehill Guineas.
Hooked’s form, right down to his beaten margin of 1-1/4 lengths in the Australian Derby two weeks ago, is almost a mirror image except for his third placing in the blue riband.
“He was set for the Derby and ran accordingly and he seems to have come through it pretty good,” Hooked’s trainer John Thompson said.
Thompson has kept Hooked’s workload on the training track to a minimum as he looks to extend the three-year-old’s campaign to Brisbane.
“He had a shorter, sharper gallop on Tuesday,” Thompson said.
“I worked him worked over 1200 metres and he’s been to the beach a couple of times to keep his head in the right frame of mind.
“It seems to have worked. He’s keen, he doesn’t seem flat at all.”
Hooked ($3.40) is challenging the Adrian Knox Stakes winner Arabian Gold ($3) for favouritism in the Packer Plate.
Appropriately, Arabian Gold is owned by Nick Moraitis, the leading Australian grower and producer of fruit and vegetables who raced Might And Power.
Thompson is hoping Hooked can follow in the hoofsteps of a more recent Packer Plate winner as he prepares to send the colt to Brisbane next month.
Shootoff completed the Packer Plate-Queensland Derby double in 2011.
“It’s one run at a time but Brisbane is the plan,” Thompson said. “I will probably just freshen him again and have one run into the Queensland Derby.”