Three weeks ago, Kris Lees hatched a plan to give Hathras a shot at the Group I The BMW (2400m) with a view to improving the horse’s chances of getting into the Melbourne spring features but a couple of days out from the big Rosehill meeting the trainer’s confidence levels are growing.
“Originally we were going to run him in the Manion Cup but I sat down with the owners and we discussed our options looking towards the spring,” Lees said.
“In the end we decided that his rating would be better served if he was able to run in the placings in The BMW compared with winning the Manion Cup so we decided to have a throw at the stumps.”
Hathras is the x-factor runner in this year’s $2.25 million weight-for-age feature.
The horse arrived in Australia a maiden winner at Krefeld in Germany. His three Australian starts have returned two dominant restricted grade wins at Rosehill and Warwick Farm.
“He’s going from preschool to university on Saturday but he couldn’t have been more impressive in the way he disposed of them in his last two wins,” Lees said.
“He’s a horse that we hold in high regard and Saturday should give us a better indication of what we have.”
Lees said he’s confident Hathras has more to give that what he’s shown at his two wins. Jockey Christian Reith has reported to the trainer the horse “floated” as soon as he got to the front in the victories.
On Saturday, Hathras will race in the winkers with Lees confident the gear change will see the son of Dansili keep his mind on the job right to the line.
“The trip on Saturday won’t be a problem but at that level he can’t be doing things half-hearted,” he said.
“We’ve put the winkers on him on Saturday and only time will tell if they make any difference but I don’t think they’ll be detrimental.
“I think he’ll run really well on Saturday. I think he’ll be competitive.”
One factor that does appear to be in Hathras’s favour is Dansili’s stock in Australia have the ninth best record of stallion’s runners on wet tracks.
Racenet’s wet track sire stats show Dansili sired horses have won 34 races from 156 wet track starts at a winning strikerate of better than 20 percent.
Hathras won his only heavy track start when recording a 2-3/4 length victory at Rosehill.