Messene Ready for 2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap

September 18th, 2015

Messene was unable to continue his slick run of form this time when eighth in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) last weekend, but trainer Michael Hawkes is confident the horse is capable of a return to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick, weather permitting.

Messene will contest the 2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap fourth-up. Photo: Steve Hart

Messene will contest the 2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap fourth-up. Photo: Steve Hart

Messene has posted nine wins and a further four minors through nineteen career starts so far; returning this time for a credible fifth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) prior to last weekend’s flop.

While confirmed the horse will be scratched from proceedings should the Randwick course experience more rain, Hawkes told Racing Ahead the team are pleased with Messene’s overall condition and are expecting a good performance in the 2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap.

“It was an OK run last start, to be honest the rider probably went a bit keen on him and just wanted to rush him to get there,” Hawkes said.

“He probably should have just come back a cog to let him travel.

“He dropped back to 1300m in his last start but it’s much of a muchness tomorrow.

“We’re going to wait and see how the track pans out but the horse has done well since that run and his two runs previous to that after a long layoff were very, very good.

“He’s hitting form at the right time hopefully but just have to see how the track is.”

Messene has been a strong and consistent performer for Team Hawkes through each of his competitive campaign since debuting in 2012, but undoubtedly found career-best for to date through the 2014 Autumn Carnival.

Winning the Listed National Sprint (1400m) first-up, Messene continued to impress in taking out the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) before running on for a credible sixth in the featured Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Bill Ritchie Handicap odds, for which Messene can be taken at a generous quote of $6.50 for success.