Hilal wins $1 million Bondi Stakes
Emirates Park bred and raced Hilal won his second very significant race in succession when proving to be a dominant winner of the $1 million Bondi Stakes (1600m) at Randwick following on from his Group 2 success in the Roman Consul Stakes two weeks prior.
Asked to race over a mile for the second time in his flourishing career, the homebred son of Fastnet Rock was at his brilliant best in defeating eight rivals with a withering finishing burst from well back in the field, before going on to score by a length-and-a-quarter as the $2.35 favourite.
On the only previous occasion Hilal had raced over the same course and distance, the supremely-bred colt had finished runner-up in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes as a 2-year-old. He is now the winner of three races from 10 starts, having also placed four times — including twice at Group 1 level as a juvenile.
Speaking after the win, co-trainer Michael Hawkes remarked … “Last start he really put the writing on the wall, but even if you go back to his two-year-old days when he ran second in the Group One, we knew we had a special colt then going into that race.
“This preparation, he has really started to hit the line and put it all together. Last start, and obviously today, he still wants to lay in, but once he gets clear of those horses he just really fights and he wants to hit the wire.”
Winning jockey Tommy Berry said in part in his post-race interview: “He put them away again today, but I have got a feeling he will be better next preparation. He is still learning what it is all about.
“There is a lot of good mile races at Randwick in the coming couple of seasons for him, so if he can keep going in the same direction he might be able to level up against some of the better ones,” he said.
Hilal picked up a winner’s cheque of $580,000 from his Bondi Stakes success and has now earned over $1 million — $1,099,150 to be precise. The valuable colt was immediately sent for a spell after his win in preparation for his autumn campaign.
A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group