Sesar favourite to win Group 3 BletchinglyWednesday 24 July 2019
With star filly Mystic Journey bypassing the Bletchingly Stakes because of the weather, dual Group-winning colt Sesar has assumed short-priced favouritism for the weight-for-age sprint at Caulfield.
And while Sesar's co-trainer Wayne Hawkes says the race will still not be a pushover for the three-year-old against older horses, he admits the race does look an ideal assignment for the colt with conditions to suit and no Mystic Journey to beat.
"It's a nice race for him, and bring on the wet weather," Hawkes said.
"He loves the wet. Mystic Journey not running, I'm not upset. I'm smiling.
"It's good that she's not running from our point of view.
"I'd like it to rain again. That would be good for him on Saturday."
Mystic Journey was a notable omission from the acceptances for Saturday's 1200m race on Wednesday after 12mm of rain in the previous 24 hours put the track into the soft (6) range.
With some more rain forecast before Saturday, it prompted Tasmanian trainer Adam Trinder to delay the filly's return.
The Cox Plate favourite is now expected to kick off her campaign in three weeks in the P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Mystic Journey loomed as a likely short-priced Bletchingly favourite, having won her past six starts including the Group One Australian Guineas and $5 million All-Star Mile during her autumn campaign.
Sesar has now been installed $1.80 favourite after a field of nine was declared on Wednesday, with Jungle Edge on the second line of betting at $4.60.
Sesar won the Group Three Ken Russell Memorial Classic in Queensland on a good track as a two-year-old and added the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes last spring on a heavy track when trained by Steven O'Dea.
He returned to racing last month and won the Winter Dash at Randwick, also in heavy conditions, in his first start for the Hawkes Racing stable to take his record to three wins from eight starts.
Sesar had a jump-out at Flemington last Friday to keep him ticking over for the Bletchingly and a strong performance could set the rising four-year-old up for a crack at the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) next month.
"I'd like to come through Saturday and hopefully head towards the Memsie," Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, said.
"That would be nice if he could do that."