The Chris Waller-trained Hawkspur showed he is the horse to beat in the Queensland Derby following a dominant win in Saturday’s Group III Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben.

Ridden by Jim Cassidy, the son of Purrealist stayed on strongly to defeat the Mike Moroney-trained Rhythm To Spare by 2-1/4 lengths with Honorius a short neck-back in third.

Coming off a win in the Group III Rough Habit Plate at Eagle Farm a fortnight back, Hawkspur took his overall record to 5 wins and 6 seconds from 17 starts for earnings of $332,930.

Waller credited Cassidy with taking the chestnut gelding to another level.

“As he did last start, he’s a marvel Jim Cassidy and he’s winning these races for us,” Waller told Sky Racing World.

“I always talk about confidence but with this horse he’s been ridden perfectly at his last two starts so I think most of the credit should be going to Jim Cassidy.”

A homebred, Hawkspur is the third foal of the Catbird mare Mollyhawk a daughter of the Listed stakes-winner Exceptional Angel (Turf Ruler).


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