The man who has a respected 51 wins so far in the Victorian jockeys’ premiership could hold the key to unlocking a big performance from the enigmatic White Hawk in the $300,000 Mornington Cup (2400m) on Saturday.
The in-form Declan Bates has the ride aboard an eight-year-old who is known to run “ugly”.
“He’s a horse who just has to be given the right ride, which is quite an ugly ride,” trainer Angela Brakey told horsebetting.com.au when asked about White Hawk who is currently a $26 chance with Bet365.
“It’s just about getting a jockey to do that, and when he’s allowed to roll along he does really well.
“I’m hoping that Declan can do that for him.
“You’ve just got to have a tough jockey on board. He’s not a sit-and-sprint horse. He’ll never win a race doing that.
“But if he’s allowed to get out and roll along and get some momentum, I think he should go really well.”
Brakey was disappointed with White Hawk’s fifth and fourth in his past two respective starts – the $50,000 Tasmanian St Leger (2400m) at Launceston on March 16, and the $250,000 Launceston Cup (2400m) on February 23.
But her veteran stayer earned her respect with a fighting third in the $250,000 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 13.
“He got boxed in during the Hobart Cup. He was 12 lengths behind Ho Ho Khan (the eventual four-length winner for Mitchell Freedman) at the 400m mark and he only got beaten by five lengths. He did enormous then,” she said.
“And then the next two starts unfortunately he had different jockeys who wouldn’t let him roll and they tried to hold him up. It was very disappointing from my perspective.
“But before that he won the Devonport Cup and broke the track record in the Summer Cup (winning in a time of 2:16.50 over 2200m at Hobart on January 23).
“He nearly broke the track record in the Golden Mile over 1600m (winning in 1:40.62 at Devonport on December 3 last year). He’s just got to get momentum and speed up.
“I’m really happy with the way he’s travelled over and if he’s allowed to build momentum, he should be right in the mix.”