Mike Moroney expects debut winner Hawker Hurricane to be competitive in the Blue Diamond Prelude.
A winner at Ballarat on debut, Hawker Hurricane will now try to stamp himself as a Blue Diamond Stakes contender when he makes his return at Caulfield.
The Mike Moroney-trained colt finished strongly to win the Ballarat Clockwise Classic over 1000m in November before connections decided to give him a three-week break rather than target January’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast.
Hawker Hurricane was instead directed to a Blue Diamond preparation and gets the chance to put those ambitions to the test in Saturday’s Group Three Prelude (1100m) for colts and geldings at Caulfield.
The $1.5 million Group One Blue Diamond (1200m) is two weeks later.
“He had three weeks in the paddock after his debut and he’s had a fair bit of work and a nice jump-out to get him ready for this,” Moroney said.
“He had a nice hit-out on Tuesday so fingers crossed he measures up.
“He brings some new form to the race but we think a fair bit of him.
“He’s a big powerful bloke for a two-year-old. He’s 528 kilos. He’s got a good brain, he’s laid-back, clean-winded and we think he’s got a fair bit of ability.”
I Am Immortal, winner of the colts and geldings Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) on debut on January 26, headlines the field of 10 for Saturday’s race.
Auxin (4th), Brazen Brando (5th) and Exeter (6th) are also coming through the Preview.
“The only real way we can get a line on how he’ll measure up is through (stablemate) Alburq,” Moroney said.
“Hawker Hurricane came from back and beat Alburq quite nicely at Ballarat and Alburq has been competitive enough in these two-year-old races.”
Alburq led before finishing just under a length behind Hawker Hurricane when third on debut.
He then ran second to talented Yes Yes Yes at The Valley at his second start before finishing third to I Am Immortal in the Preview.
Alburq is scheduled to have a jump-out at Flemington on Friday ahead of Saturday week’s Talindert Stakes at the same track.