Team Hawkes targets More Than Ready

Team Hawkes won a spirited duel with Lindsay Park for the first More Than Ready to parade at the Gold Coast Magic Millions on Wednesday.

The Vinery legend’s filly out of Fastnet Rock mare Passion Cheval (Lot 5) was sold by Yulong Investments for $400,000.  John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes weren’t to be denied targeting the good-looking youngster while bidding from their favourite spot behind the sale-ring.

“From the moment Dad saw her on the grounds he said, ‘I want her’,” Wayne Hawkes revealed.  “She’s a lovely type and More Than Ready has sired Golden Slipper and Magic Millions winners – that’s what we’re after.”

The filly is from a winning daughter of Adelaide stakes winner Calming (Zeditave).  Team Hawkes has trained several winners from the family which goes back to South African Group 1 sprinter War Artist.

Brisbane trainer Chris Munce was also on the hunt for a More Than Ready and he took home the colt from Sequential (Lot 114) for $300,000.  Munce bought him from Highgrove Stud on behalf of BK Racing & Breeding manager Benny Vassallo.

“He’s a cracker and looks a natural to run early,” Munce declared after scaring off the opposition by upping the ante from $260,000 to $300,000.  “We didn’t want to lose him.  He will go to Oakford Farm to be educated and, all going well, will then get ready for the first of the juvenile races next season.”

Highgrove Stud owner Ron Gilbert bred and sold the brother to Flemington stakes winner Excitable Boy.  “He’s a real professional and More Than Ready has stamped him a readymade racehorse,” Gilbert said.  “Chris can get him broken-in and go straight into a prep.  And he will get the job done, too!”

Vinery sire Press Statement was also popular with his first yearlings during Day 1 at the Magic Millions.  First to go under the hammer was Lot 78, the filly from Rossarita (Testa Rossa) bought by Sydney trainer Greg Hickman and Ferguson Bloodstock for $180,000.

“That was just below our limit so it was a relief when the hammer went down,” Hickman admitted.  “She has plenty of scope and I can see her getting out to 1400m.”

The Press Statement filly also kick-started the consignment from Sledmere Stud on the Gold Coast.  “You would like to breed fillies like her every year,” Sledmere’s Catriona Murphy said.  “She’s a fine example of the quality Press Statement puts into his stock.”

Fellow Vinery freshman Headwater equalled Press Statement later on Wednesday with a $180,000 colt from Lime Country Thoroughbreds.

Catalogued as Lot 216, he is from The Carnival (Encosta de Lago) and was purchased for Hong Kong by leading trainer Ricky You.  “He’s got plenty of bone with a huge walk and is perfect for Hong Kong,” Lime Country’s Jo Griffin said.  “We are looking after the NZ Bloodstock buys from the Magic Millions and I guess the Headwater colt will be coming back to the farm, too.

“We have another Headwater going through on Friday and he’s a very athletic colt,” Griffin added.  “He’s closely related to More Than Ready’s Champion South African Filly Entisaar.