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Sandown pair destined for higher company

James Winks rides Echo Jet to victory
Hawkes Racing says Echo Jet and Sinjaree are headed for stakes company after their wins at Sandown.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has higher hopes for a pair of three-year-olds that provided the stable with a midweek double at Sandown.

Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, says Sinjaree, winner of Wednesday’s Moorookyle Park Plate and Echo Jet, victor of the Chandler MacLeod Handicap, are headed to stakes company.

He says Sinjaree appreciated the rise to 1400m on Wednesday and is a promising stayer, while Echo Jet has now won at Newcastle and again on Wednesday since being fitted with blinkers.

While the temptation would be to send the pair for a break and prepare for an autumn assault, Hawkes says the plan is likely to keep racing for the time being.

“The problem is for the autumn if you haven’t won a couple of races, you won’t get runs in the better races,” he said.

Hawkes’ ideal scenario would be to find a suitable Saturday 1600m race before a break for Sinjaree, who could develop into a derby prospect next year.

However, Hawkes thinks the AJC Australian Derby at Randwick in April might be too soon.

“There’s still the South Australian and Queensland derbies that could be suitable,” he said.

Appreciating a solid tempo, Sinjaree ($4.60) scored by a half-head from Trent ($3.60), with Raid The Cabinet ($8.50) 5-1/4 lengths away in third.

“He’s still a green horse but a staying horse,” Hawkes said.

“He’s dumb and doesn’t know what it’s all about at this stage.

“You can do as much as you like at home but you can’t buy race day experience.”

In contrast with the solid pace that contributed to Hawkes’ first winner, Echo Jet had to overcome a muddling race to score.

Under James Winks, who also won aboard Sinjaree, Echo Jet ($8) scored a three-quarter-length win from Prevailing Winds ($19), with Holy Freeze ($6) a neck away in third.

“It was a good, gutsy effort,” Hawkes said.

“Putting the blinkers on him has certainly helped and what is not shown in the race book is he broke the class record at Newcastle last time.

“Maybe he shouldn’t have been an $8 chance.”

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