The Courier-Mail

$35M COLT OUT TO PROVE HIS WORTH

- GILBERT GARDINER

DOUBTERS will be looking for rocks to hide under should superstar Team Hawkes colt Ole Kirk bounce back and win the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the decision to back up

Ole Kirk after a lacklustre, albeit excusable, performanc­e in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes last Saturday at Caulfield, was not one taken lightly.

“He’s worth $35 million, that’s the price of a suburb,” Hawkes said. “It’s a lot of money, what he’s worth, it is a sheep station.

“You want every post to be a winner, first-up was a great run and then to the doubting Thomases it wasn’t such a good run last start. We need to bounce back, it‘s as simple as that, you’re at the pointy end with the big colts.”

Hawkes has nothing concrete planned beyond today for the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas winner, signalling a win could see out the racing career of stallion Written Tycoon’s most decorated son.

“If he happened to win there could be every chance he could be retired,” Hawkes said.

“I wouldn’t have been worried if they retired him after the Caulfield Guineas, you can’t do any more than what you’ve done, he’s won two Group 1s at three.

“You’re going to struggle to get another horse to win two Group 1s at three, maybe

(Chris) Waller’s filly (September Run) might, if she wins the Newmarket (next Saturday).

“Not many horses win one Group 1, let alone the best one in Melbourne and the best one in Sydney as a three year-old.”

Sheer class and quality aside, Ole Kirk will need luck from barrier 15 to win the Australian Guineas.

Ole Kirk jumped from barrier one last Saturday, but circumstan­ces – the watering of the track and milder than expected conditions – rendered the inside rail at Caulfield a no-go zone.

“No doubt he was the best three year-old colt in the spring, so if he can bounce back tomorrow, he can get that mantelpiec­e filled with another Group 1,” Hawkes said.

“We‘re dealt with the cards we’re dealt with, he’ll be threedeep with cover and hoping to get a bit of a smother up somewhere.

“I guarantee you, there‘s six other jockeys drawn wide that want to be in the same position. We do need a 12 out of 10 ride from him (Kerrin McEvoy), there‘s no ifs, buts and maybes about that.”

 ??  ?? Ole Kirk, ridden by William Pike, winning the Caulfield Guineas. Picture: Getty Images
Ole Kirk, ridden by William Pike, winning the Caulfield Guineas. Picture: Getty Images

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