Vinery Stud sire Exceedance has 31 first-crop nominations for the 2024 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday, February 24, and among them are four of his sons from Team Hawkes.

Worth $2 million, the Blue Diamond Stakes is Melbourne’s premier 2yo event and John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes won it for the first time when Kusi (Desert Prince) defeated Vinery filly Halibery (Red Ransom) by three-quarters of a length in 2003.

Team Hawkes targeted the Exceedance yearlings at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in March and the colt from Canterbury winner All Too Free (All Too Hard) was a standout at Oaklands Junction.  His dam is a half-sister to the Redoute’s Choice Stakes winners Ravi and Elzaam.

“It’s always exciting looking at the first youngsters by stallions we have trained,” Wayne Hawkes recalled.  “The colt from All Too Free grabbed our attention and we were eager to buy an Exceedance.  He’s just like his old man.

“Exceedance was a great horse and so was Bivouac who he beat in the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes (1200m).  Dominic Beirne said that Coolmore is the greatest race he has ever rated up the straight at Flemington.”

Team Hawkes is also delighted with the progress of two Exceedance colts that have rotated between its Rosehill stables and with Roy Davis and Tony Hall at Oak Ridge Farm south-west of Sydney.

“The Exceedance – Meow colt did an excellent job during his first time through our system,” Michael Hawkes reported.   “He handled the education working on all the different tracks, going through the barriers and swimming in the pool.

“He’s quite a sensible colt and has the right attitude and wants to work with us.  After getting to know the routine, we gave him a five-week break and now he’s ready to come back into work for a full preparation.”

His older half-sister Honor Galore (Spirit Of Boom) won on debut at Ballarat last month for trainer Cliff Brown and Barree Stud owner Glen Whittenbury.  Their dam Meow (More Than Ready) is a half-sister to Listed winners Global Warming and Pure Perfection.

The Team Hawkes colt by Exceedance out of Hallowell Belle is a good-looking bay, bred by Vinery partners Steve McCann and Neil Werrett.  “He’s a lovely moving colt and a big rangy type who has done everything right so far,” Michael Hawkes added.  “He has the right attitude and overall we’re very happy with his progress.”

His dam Hallowell Belle (Starcraft) was a top-class sprinter who was raced by WA owner-breeder Craig Thompson to feature wins in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington and Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill.

Exceedance (Exceed And Excel) stands at Vinery Stud for a $33,000 inc. GST, payable on a live foal.  For bookings or further information, contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).

The Vinery Stud stallion parades this Saturday and Sunday – August 26 and 27, at 8:30am.  If you have any questions, please call us on 02 6543 8333.  It is essential to RSVP at: