A strong exhibition gallop has convinced trainer John Thompson that Sir John Hawkwood will be fighting out the finish in the Group One Metropolitan Handicap.
Saturday’s $750,000 race at Randwick is the horse’s first outing in Group One company.
Thompson said his consistency and performance around the stable boded well for the race.
“He’s a horse you know is going to give you 150 per cent,” Thompson said.
“He’s going to be in the finish but what placing I don’t know.
“It’s his chance to win a Group One.”
Thompson said he was still learning about Sir John Hawkwood, who arrived in his stable after David Vandyke relocated to the Sunshine Coast.
The horse finished second in the Group Three Kingston Town Stakes in his first and only run for Thompson.
“Everything he’s done for me he’s done very well,” Thompson said.
He said he was relying on regular jockey Blake Spriggs for an assessment of the horse.
“He comes in and rides him all the time and he’s been associated with him for a few preps,” Thompson said.
“He said he’s going as good as ever.”
Sir John Hawkwood had a 10-day stint in the paddock after the Kingston Town and Thompson sent him round in an exhibition gallop at Kembla Grange on Tuesday.
“He worked super, came through it super and went to the beach on Wednesday morning full of beans,” Thompson said.
The eight-year-old UK import has had five trainers across two countries but he isn’t showing Thompson any signs of weariness.
“Some days you’d swear he was a three-year-old,” Thompson said.
“He had a steady canter this morning before he went to the beach and when he came off the track he was kicking and squealing so it’s good.”
Sir John Hawkwood is on the second line of betting at $6 behind Chris Waller-trained Antonio Guiseppe at $4.60.