3YO to test older horses in CF Orr Stakes

Divine Prophet kicks off his autumn campaign at Caulfield with his co-trainer declaring him a bigger and stronger version than the one seen in the spring.

Wayne Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, says Divine Prophet has grown 15cm since winning the Group One Caulfield Guineas in October.

Divine Prophet makes his reappearance in the weight-for-age C F Orr Stakes on Saturday with Hawkes saying he has flown under the radar.

“He’s not the high-profile horse and has snuck under a few people’s radar but his form is pretty faultless,” Hawkes said.

Divine Prophet tackles weight-for-age company for the first time and the C F Orr has been a good race for three-year-olds in the past.

Yell (2003) and All Too Hard (2013) were Hawkes-trained three-year-olds to win the race, joining other notable winners including Manikato, Redoute’s Choice, Desert Sky and Barkada.

“”It’s a winnable race for a three-year-old.,” Hawkes said.

“We’ve done it with All Too Hard before and Yell won this race as a three-year-old as well.

“There’s not a Chautauqua or a Winx in the field but it’s still going to be a tough race.

“There’s a lot of seasoned horses and they’re always hard to beat even when they’re not quite wound up.

“We’ve got a young horse on the way up so it should be a good test to see where we are going with him.”

Divine Prophet had two barrier two trials in Sydney to prepare for his return and arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday morning.

“He didn’t turn a hair and looks fantastic,” Hawkes said.

“Michael keeps telling me how good he is and that he’s going to be a multiple Group One winner one day.

“He’s got one of them so far and hopefully he can add another on Saturday.”

Hawkes said the stable was only looking as far as Saturday’s race to see how the three-year-old returns and suggested either the Australian Guineas or the Randwick Guineas, both run on March 4, could be on the agenda.

There has been support for Divine Prophet since the C F Orr field was announced on Wednesday with the colt firming from $10 to $8.

Australia Stakes winner Malaguerra heads the betting at $3.80, firming from $4, with Black Heart Bart, one of three runners from the Darren Weir yard, second pick at $4, in from $4.40.

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