Patience is a virtue when it comes to the placement of horses and Hawkes Racing are wonderful exponents of that art. They will not be rushed if they think a young horse needs time to develop.
One such member of their stable is Fire who on Saturday, as a recently turned four-year-old, will line up for his seventh race start when he runs in the Jockeys Celebration Day Sprint (1100m) at Flemington.
A son of Fastnet Rock, Fire has been successful on three occasions with Hawkes Racing placing him in suitable restricted grade races. Saturday’s contest is a Benchmark 84 and Fire, with a rating of 72, gets in on the minimum of 54kg.
Following his first-up win at Sandown over 1000m last month, Wayne Hawkes said in time there would be a nice win in store for Fire. Whether that is this spring or in the autumn, time will tell, but Saturday’s race is all part of the learning curve for the lightly raced galloper.
Concerning for Hawkes though is Fire is having his first start up the Flemington straight which he said has brought about the undoing of many a good horse. And even though Hawkes Racing trains at Flemington, Wayne said Fire was yet to trial on the straight track or even gallop on it.
“He’s a nice horse going somewhere, but it’s all about the straight,” Hawkes said. “Many a good horse has run down the straight, but not all handle it. It’s the hardest place in the country to win a race.
“There is no advantage training at Flemington. We don’t get to go up the straight very often.”
Fire is a clearcut $2.15 favourite with TAB to make it two in a row, with the Peter Moody-trained Chain Of Lightning the second pick at $4.40.
Chain Of Lightning is Fire's main rival, picture Racing Photos