Blue blood colt Spirit And Fire has won strongly on debut at Canterbury to strengthen Hawkes Racing’s three-year-old team ahead of spring.
A $700,000 yearling, Spirit And Fire is by More Than Ready out of Amelia’s Dream.
The racing career of Amelia’s Dream was cut short by injury, but not before she won her two starts by a combined 15 lengths including a dazzling display in the 2008 Group Two Silver Slipper.
Spirit And Fire kicked strongly on the rails to win a 1200m three-year-old maiden handicap on Wednesday.
The colt ($1.80 favourite) held off a late charge from the Chris Waller-trained Zumbelina ($26) with Ebenos ($4) third.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said Spirit And Fire had been raring to go after they were forced to scratch him from races in Queensland and Hawkesbury.
“Yes he’s blue blood but you’ve got to go out there and do it,” Hawkes said.
Hawkes said he would wait to determine whether Spirit And Fire tackled a stakes race during this preparation.
“It’s not something we’re going to decide on right now but he’s got above average ability and hopefully you might see him in some better races,” Hawkes said.
“Yes he’s probably got the ability but he’s just mentally not there.”
Spirit And Fire is owned by American billionaire businessman B Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Australia Syndicate.
Hawkes said the colt had taken time to mature, foreshadowing further improvement in the next six months.
“The horse has done a great job today. He’ll learn a lot from that,” Hawkes said.
“Hopefully he’s just a natural racehorse.”
Jockey Tommy Berry said he didn’t rush Spirit And Fire out of the gates and allowed him to take the lead after 100m.
“He never changed legs. He was on his front leg the whole way,” Berry said.
“If he’d changed legs he really would have dashed but he never did, so he’s got a lot of improvement.”
Fellow jockeys Brenton Avdulla and Deanne Panya both continued their rich veins of form with two winners apiece at the meeting.
Avdulla’s double came on the Chris Waller-trained Gretna and Godolphin horse Allision, while Panya rode Untamed Diamond and Serve And Volley to victory.