The Black Book: Team Hawkes unwraps another potential stallion prospect

5 min read

By Anthony Manton

The Black Book will identify race performances around Australia particularly worth following in the future. These may be high profile runners at trials and smaller tracks, or eye-catching performances, we'll aim to give you a horse to add to your pedigree or performance black book for the future.

The training juggernaut of Team Hawkes has turned some very good colts on the track into stallions and no doubt that will be the long-term aim with exciting colt Trope (More Than Ready), who produced a barnstorming finish to win on debut at Kensington on Wednesday in race two, the 3-year-old Maiden Plate over 1100 metres.

In recent years Team Hawkes has produced the likes of All Too Hard (Casino Prince) and Deep Field (Northern Meteor) into successful stallions and Trope looks destined for a similar path if his debut win is anything to go by.

All Too Hard was produced by Team Hawkes and has gone on to a successful stallion career

Ridden by Tommy Berry, Trope drew barrier nine of eleven and was immediately restrained after the start to settle a clear last. Approaching the home turn Trope tracked-up wide and was forced deepest into the straight but once he flattened-out he unleashed a brilliant burst of acceleration to reel-in the Waterhouse & Bott trained Got Your Six (Snitzel) to win on the line in great style.

"Once Tommy actually did get him balanced that was when he really wanted to attack the line." - Co-trainer, Michael Hawkes

“Tommy got back a bit and nothing really wanted to cart him into the race and he just got a little bit lost on the corner but once Tommy actually did get him balanced that was when he really wanted to attack the line,” Co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“We were never worried when the draw came out it was probably the right draw and there looked to be a lot of speed on paper inside us. Our rules are just have the horse comfortable, balanced and have him where he’s happy”, said Hawkes.

"Our rules are just have the horse comfortable, balanced and have him where he’s happy.” - Michael Hawkes

Trope has taken some time to furnish, he was not seen as a 2-year-old and first trialled publicly last August at Warwick Farm as an early 3-year-old before being spelled and returning this preparation with three more lead-up trials in January.

“He’s just taken a lot of time to come to hand, he’s got a lot of ability but he just doesn’t know how to harness it yet as you saw today. He might have run the time but it’s all about how he does it and although he’s starting to put it all together to be fair he still doesn’t really know what he’s doing” said Hawkes.

Watch: Trope as a yearling

There are no immediate plans on the table for Trope in the early part of the autumn with Hawkes suggesting it will be a race by race proposition at this stage.

“We’re race by race with most of our horses and this guy is no exception but he looks to have a little bit of talent on his side. We don’t get carried away but for today that was great,” said Hawkes.

Tommy Berry who partnered the striking colt in his first trial was thrilled with the win and will no doubt look to continue his association with Team Hawkes.

“I’ve loved him from the day I sat on him. I remember his first trial at Warwick Farm when he missed it, [the start] he was a long way last and he flew home. I said to Michael you’ve got a good horse here”.

“I’ve loved him from the day I sat on him." - Jockey, Tommy Berry

“He got skittled a little bit at the 600 metres when there was a bit of a scrimmage in front of us, I thought that might have been what was going to get me beat in the end but he was just too good for them,” said Berry.

Trope sizzled home his last 600 metres in sub 34 seconds running 33.90 adding more merit to the performance.

“I was actually thinking pulling up I can’t wait to see what time he ran because he felt like he was pretty smart,” said Berry.

Bred and reared by Cressfield Stud, Trope was purchased at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $500,000 and is raced by prominent owner Alan Bell.

Trope as a yearling

Alan Bell has raced many top-liners in the past including Deep Field, as well as champions Grand Armee (Hennessy) and Schillaci (Salieri) among many others more.

Trope is the fifth foal to race from dam Personify (Galileo), all foals to race have been winners, the most notable are half-brother's Laser Flash (Redoute’s Choice) and Selectify (Redoute’s Choice) both multiple city winners.

Further back Trope's pedigree is littered with black-type. His dam Personify is a half-sister to Group 1 placed Time Thief (Redoute’s Choice) and stakes winners A Time For Julia (Redoute’s Choice) and Foreplay (Danehill), she is also a half-sister to Trephina (Last Tycoon), dam of Group 1 placed and multiple stakes winner Centennial Park (Thorn Park).

Cressfield will offer a half-sister to Trope at the upcoming 2019 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, lot 177 a filly by Fastnet Rock.