Trainer John Thompson included Hooked in nominations for two races this weekend, but has revealed he will accept a position in the final field of the 2015 George Main Stakes (1600m) for the talented entire.
Hooked has been a strong and consistent performer since debuting for Thompson in early 2013; posting five wins and a further two minors through 26 career starts to date for just shy of $800,000 in prize money.
Understandably thrilled with Hooked’s first-up effort for success in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight ago, Thompson believes the conditions of the 2015 George Main Stakes, rather than the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) in Newcastle on Friday figure as a far-better stepping stone for the five-year-old.
“We will probably accept in both races, but he will more than likely go to Randwick,” Thompson said.
“He is going so well, he is going better than he has ever gone before, and he runs very well at Randwick.
“It seems like a very nice race for him and he won’t get a penalty for the Epsom.”
Hooked capped a strong three-year-old season fifth in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and third in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m); returning in spring for arguably his best preparation to date.
Running fourth in a minor over 1400m first-up, the son of Casino Prince charged home to win the Cameron Handicap before finishing an impressive third in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 4th; returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) and the paddock after placing fifth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
While unable to make much of a competitive impact in the recent Sydney Autumn Carnival, other than a close run for fourth in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1400m) first-up, Hooked appears to be in line for a standout campaign this time.
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