Hooked has trialled well in the lead-up to Saturday’s Group 2 Tramway Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick, however trainer John Thompson believes the talented entire may need the first-up run to find peak racing condition.
Posting four wins and two minors through 25 career starts so far, Hooked returned this year for a credible fourth in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 7th; progressing to seventh in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before failing to meet the mark in either of the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m).
Thompson believes Hooked is more than capable of producing a career-best racing campaign through the 2015 Spring Carnival, but told Racing Ahead he believes the son of Casino Prince will be far-better for his appearance in the 2015 Tramway Stakes.
“He runs first-up there and he’s a big, gross frame and will probably need a run,” Thompson said.
“He definitely seems to be back to his best, he’s in a good frame of mind, looks amazing and I think he’s in for a good prep.
“He’ll just probably need the one run to get his fitness up to where it needs to be to be winning.
“Tye Angland will take the ride.”
Stamping his claims as one to watch from his debut season as a two-year-old, Hooked returned in the 2013 spring for fourth place finishes in each of his four black type starts, highlighted by an impressive performance behind he likes of Complacent and Criterion in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Capping a consistent 2014 Autumn Carnival third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), Hooked returned for arguably his best campaign through the most recent edition of the Spring Carnival; winning each of the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) and Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m); finishing a pleased third in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and ending his season fifth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
The 2015 Tramway Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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