Team Hawkes on a roll with Exceedance youngsters

Michael Hawkes is an unabashed fan of first season sire Exceedance, who has provided the stable with its second Sydney Saturday metropolitan two-year-old winner in the space of a month.

Brave One ($8) showed his class to get the better of Mayfair ($2.30 betting fav) by three-quarters of a length in Saturday’s Petaluma Handicap (1100m) at Randwick, three weeks after Swiftfalcon accounted for his rivals impressively at Rosehill.

Both are sons of Hawkes Racing’s 2019 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Exceedance and Michael Hawkes believes it is a portent of things to come from the young Vinery Stud stallion.

“Anyone that has been listening to me, I just can’t get enough of them,” Hawkes said of the progeny of Exceedance.

“I do rate them very well and this bloke, he’s definitely up there with them.

“I have been loving them since we bought them and they got in the stable.

“We have eleven or twelve of them. I spoke to (Vinery Stud’s) Peter Orton yesterday and said, ‘go and find me some more’.”

Hawkes reported Brave One had shown natural ability from the outset but had been slow to mature and wasn’t ready to compete in the better autumn races.

They were content to give him the time he needed and refocus on getting a juvenile win on the board before season’s end.

That box was ticked on Saturday in a race Hawkes believed had depth through Gai Waterhouse and Adrian-Bott trained runner-up Mayfair and third placegetter Winning Proposal, who was fourth in the Inglis Millennium and a last-start Warwick Farm winner.

“This is the middle of winter and that was a class field as Gai’s horse goes well and there was a couple of wet trackers in the race,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter where you start, he is a two-year-old winner now and that was the aim.

“I’ve got to give Zac (Lloyd) credit, I thought it was a brilliant ride. He made use of the favourite (Mayfair) and he had a lot of horse underneath him.”

Adrian Bott felt Mayfair didn’t relish the heavy 9 track and did well to tough it out and hold second.

“I’m not sure if the heavy track conditions were to his liking but he’s done a good job, he stuck on well,” Bott said.

Team Hawkes is enjoying a successful backend of the season with their two-year-olds with Tassort youngster Mawjood also scoring impressively at Warwick Farm on June 26.

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