Team Hawkes is planning ahead with La Amistad as she steps out in Saturday’s McKell Cup (2400 metres) at Randwick, a dream that could have her follow in the footsteps of three-quarter sister Makybe Diva.
“She is a horse that we have been very patient with and this [preparation] is all about getting her through her grades,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said. “She doesn’t know who her sister is, but we think she can make a name for herself.
“Makybe Diva was a freak and no horse will do what she did.”
The Diva won three Melbourne Cups and La Amistad is showing the same ability to stay after four wins from 10 starts, over 2200m twice before a 2100m Echuca victory and over 2400m at Warwick Farm last time.
La Amistad, like her sister, has taken time to mature and Hawkes says she is still relatively untapped.
“She is still not there yet but we need to get her through the grades and it is right time to step up to this level,” he said. “We see her as a stayer and think she can get to a Melbourne Cup if everything goes right. Maybe, maybe not this year, probably next year.”
La Amistad is by champion sire Redoute’s Choice and the steady approach of the Hawkes stable meant she didn’t make her debut until late in her three-year-old year. She is starting to hit her straps with wins at her past two.
“She is starting to show what she can do and will only get better,” Hawkes said. “She went to Echuca for a reason, to get confidence, and then we opted for Warwick Farm midweek instead of a Saturday race to give her another win. This is an important next step for her and a big test.
“Her breeding means winning a listed race is important for her value after racing, but it will also help with her rating to make sure she can get into the better races.”
La Amistad is the favourite for the McKell Cup and will shorten further in betting when well-bred stablemate Zephyron comes out of the race to run in the Premier’s Cup in Brisbane.
The $2 million buy in New Zealand as a yearling won the Lord Mayor’s Cup at his last start and will target the Brisbane Cup in his northern campaign.
“He will head to Brisbane for in the Premier’s Cup and it is the right time to try him in a race like the Brisbane Cup, provided he runs well on Saturday,” Hawkes said. “He is in good form and will be hard to beat up there.
“He is at a different stage of his career to La Amistad, who probably won’t go up there.”
Team Hawkes will also debut More Than Frank in the two-year-olds’ race that opens the Randwick program, while import Swooning, a winner of two from 10 in France, will have her first run in the Australia in a benchmark 80 sprint.
“More Than Frank is a nice horse with a good draw [one],” Hawkes said. “It will be interesting to see how he goes.
“Swooning has done a lot of her work in Melbourne and the key with these imports is how they settle in, and we will get a guide on that on Saturday.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.