Just five rivals stood in the way of Haky as he looked to improve his chances of Melbourne Cup participation at ParisLongchamp on Sunday. Leading the race from the outset and overtaken late by the favourite Called To The Bar, Haky didn’t give up, fighting back to finish just three lengths behind the winner with a gap to Boulevard in third.
Below: Haky’s second place in the G3 Prix Gladiateur.
Haky is one of 152 nominees for the $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) and it is anticipated he will receive 51.5kg ahead of Tuesday’s release of weights. There is hope the second placing in the Group 3 Prix Gladiateur will allow for an increase in weight.
There’s an expectation, as per recent years, that approximately 53kg for an older male horse is required to be confident of gaining a start in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
Therefore the Prix Gladiateur was an important late opportunity for Haky to impress Racing Victoria’s Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter.
Haky is lightly raced, with three wins from just 13 starts. He has raced three times during 2019 as his return to the track was delayed till July by having two splints, both on the outside of his leg.
He was unplaced at his return run over 2000 metres at Deauville on July 2 before leading throughout over 2400 metres at Compiegne on July 23.
Haky raced at stakes level for the first time and produced a career-best effort last start when third behind last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Marmelo in the G2 €130,000 (A$210,000) Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville on August 18.
A berth in the Melbourne Cup is now a realistic objective and Haky will come to Australia on the first shipment and try to qualify for the race locally. He will kick off in the $400,000 G2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 12 or look to contest the G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.