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Archedemus takes Gong honours for Team Hawkes

3 min read
Team Hawkes were given the task of getting Archedemus (Lope De Vega {Ire}) back into the winner's stall and on Saturday they managed to get the 7-year-old to take out the $1 million The Gong.

Archedemus scored his first win since May last year as he produced a gutsy performance to race on the speed and fight off his rivals to score the $1 million The Gong at Kembla Grange for Team Hawkes.

The 7-year-old gelding settled just off Positive Peace (Stratum) in the lead and kicked past her at the top of the straight under Jay Ford and was challenged by Dawn Passage (Dawn Approach {Ire}) all the way to the line but fought hard to hold on and win by 0.2l.

It was just the fourth start Archedemus had since joining the Hawkes' stable in the middle of the year after losing his form and he had finished third in the Listed Weekend Hussler H. and second in the Listed Ladies Day Cup, and Michael Hawkes believes he is well and truly back to his best.

“He (Ross Williams, owner) asked if we could take this horse and resurrect it, and I said let us do our job and we will be right,’’ Hawkes said. “He’s well and truly back to form this bloke.

“I have to give Jay (Ford) credit. The plan was to go forward and I just said 'I hope he jumps and let him roll forward and do the rest.'

“He’s the kind of horse you’ve got to go that half length quicker than and get his mental attitude right.

“Probably halfway out I was a bit worried they were going too quick. It was a very tenacious and gutsy effort and all credit to Jay and the horse.”

"It was a very tenacious and gutsy effort and all credit to Jay (Ford) and the horse.” - Michael Hawkes

Hawkes said it was too early to make any confirmed plans as to where Archedemus will step out next but he said the G2 Villiers S. at Randwick next month could be an option.

“His run first-up in Melbourne was really good and coming back from Melbourne to Sydney his run was okay, probably the wet track really affected him,’’ he said.

“He just took off from there, his run last start at Hawkesbury was very good and was just found wanting the last little bit. He got going late again after the line.

“(The Villiers) is probably an option for him now, it depends on how he pulls up. He may be looking for a spell but we have a lot to look forward to in the autumn with him.

“It’s only our first crack and even though he is a 7-year-old he is only starting to turn the corner.”

Jay Ford

Archedemus started his career with Gwenda Markwell and won seven of his first nine starts, including last year’s G3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup and Listed Member’s H. in Brisbane before his form tapered off and he was unable to find the winner’s stall until Saturday.

By former shuttle sire Lope De Vega (Ire), Archedemus is the first stakes winner and second stakes horse for Carolyn’s Star (Peintre Celebre {USA}), who is a half-sister to Group 1-placed Set Up (Spinning World).

Carolyn’s Star’s grandam is G1 South Australian Derby winner Mapperley Heights (NZ) (Sir Tristram {Ire}) who produced multiple stakes horses but never a stakes winner though two of her runners came close.

Carolyn’s Star is the dam of five winners from seven to race and foaled a colt by Pride Of Dubai, while she was served by So You Think (NZ) this year.