Group 1 winner and ATC Oaks placegetter, Lasqueti Spirit, returns to ignite her Spring Campaign in Thursday's time honoured Listed Rowley Mile over the 1600 metre course at Hawkesbury.
With an injection of prizemoney that has seen the purse increased to $150,000, the race has attracted the form horse of the Sydney winter, Arbeitsam, who is aiming for his fourth win in five starts.
It will be another great training effort from Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, who will be on hand to collect the Trainers’ Premiership trophy for Hawkesbury’s 2016-17 season.
Arbeitsam will be sent out a deserved short-priced favourite, with the ability of his trainers in big 'mile' races being unquestioned. The Waterhouse-Bott team return to the Clarendon track to pick off another Black Type mile, following the combination training Fabrizio to take out this year's Livamol Hawkesbury Gold Cup back in April.
Waterhouse claimed her fifth Rowley Mile in 2015 with one-time 2014 Melbourne Cup favorite The Offer (Blake Shinn); her earlier winners being Adamantly (Brian York) in 2001, Fiery Venture (Len Beasley) in 2003, Beauty Watch (Nash Rawiller) in 2007, and Rabbuka (Shinn) in 2008. Beauty Watch’s 1.33.69 remains the race record.
The Hawkesbury Rowley Mile is named after the famous course at England’s Newmarket racetrack and was first run in 1881. Only the Hawkesbury Gold Cup and Hawkesbury Guineas – both introduced in 1871 – are older races than the “Mile”.
“The injection of prizemoney this year to $150,000 is fitting for this historic race,” Hawkesbury Race Club Chief Executive Greg Rudolph said. “The Rowley Mile has been run at different timeslots over the years and more recently was run on our stand-alone Saturday until 2013, however deserves to establish itself as a late Winter feature, coupling as a starting point for some Spring campaigns,” he added.
The Garry Frazer trained Group 3 winning mare, Spright, who is set resume for Spring, will gallop between Races 5 and Race 6 on Thursday.