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Import Hathras in the frame for BMW
Warwick Barr
06:44 AEST Fri Mar 22 2013

He might have been up against opposition described as modest at best but imported stayer Hathras kept alive his chances of running in the richest weight-for-age race of the Sydney autumn carnival with a runaway Warwick Farm win on Thursday.

Taking on three rivals over 2200m, Hathras made a one-act affair of the Hunts Comfort Inn Handicap to give trainer Kris Lees more reason to think he could take a sooner rather than later leap into Group One company.

"He's still in the BMW but it's a long way from here and whether he runs might depend on the attrition rate. There are a few horses dropping out of it already," Lees said.

With that in mind, Lees will be an interested onlooker when Saturday's traditional lead-up race to the $2.25 million BMW - the Ranvet Stakes - is run at Rosehill.

"There are a few options and we'll let the dust settle but we'll see what stands up after the Ranvet," he said.

Hathras opened at $1.26 but there was no shortage of support for the British-bred with German form who started at $1.24.

He took up the running and extended his lead from the 600m to post a nine-length winning margin over Miss Opulence ($17) who finished a long neck ahead of French Gift ($5.50).

"You've got to put the win into perspective ... he took on mediocre opposition," Lees said.

While the merit of the form might be suspect, the clock confirmed Hathras had a genuine future.

He broke a long-standing class record with a turn of speed that returned a 34.96 seconds final 600 metres.

Hathras is also a Sydney Cup entry, giving Lees an end-of-carnival option for the four-year-old who is now a $17 chance to win the BMW.

"All the attributes I have seen from him point to him being a two-miler," Lees said.

Hathras continued a golden patch for Lees with overseas horses after the emergence of Award Season who, like Hathras, was imported by syndicators Australian Bloodstock.

"Award Season is in the paddock after doing a good job but we always thought this horse (Hathras) was better," Lees said.


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