Hawkes Racing has taken advantage of a short course race at Caulfield in a bid to teach talented two-year-old Crafty Cop to settle.
Patriarch John Hawkes, who trains in partnership with sons Wayne and Michael, says a trip to Melbourne for Crafty Cop may only be brief after the colt did his work in Sydney preparing for his return.
Crafty Cop has been backed from $4.20 to $2.70 favouritism ahead of the Brian Reckas Handicap (1000m) on Saturday.
It will be Crafty Cop’s first start since running third in a Group Three race at Randwick during the Sydney autumn carnival.
In the lead-up for his return Crafty Cop won a Rosehill barrier trial on July 19.
“He trialled really nice in Sydney and it’s an opportunity to give him a 1000-metre race down here in Melbourne to teach him to settle a little bit,” Hawkes said.
“I wouldn’t say 1000 metres is his ideal trip, it’s more to teach the horse to settle because he does work a little bit hard early in his races.
“There should be good speed so he should be able to get a nice sit there somewhere.”
Hawkes said depending on Crafty Cop’s performance he may return to Sydney for the Group Three San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill on August 13.
He said there were no firm plans for the rising three-year-old who will be a nomination for the Caulfield Guineas when they close on Tuesday.
“Whether he runs a mile, we’ve just got to work that out down the track,” Hawkes said.
“He’s perhaps more a speed horse, but we’ll see how he progresses.”