Team Hawkes 2yo Swiftfalcon brought back memories of his sire Exceedance with an explosive victory in the Chandon Hcp (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

A homebred for Rupert Legh and partners, Swiftfalcon drew wide on a Heavy 9 and didn’t travel at all well in the early stages for jockey Jay Ford.  He was even struggling to tack on and was a long way in arrears of Sovereign Hill (Written Tycoon) who was loafing in front at the half-mile.

After angling around the heels of Shanwah (Too Darn Hot) into the straight, he clicked into gear and then swooped on the leaders to win by over a length.  “I didn’t go out with a plan and he didn’t go a yard out of the gates,” Ford reported.  “I had to keep encouraging him but he toughed it out and showed his class to get the job done.”

Exceedance was a breathtaking winner on debut as a winter 2yo for Team Hawkes at Wyong in 2019.  He came back as a spring 3yo to land the VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr.1, 1200m) before retiring to Vinery Stud.

Swiftfalcon had improved off a closing second to Aemelius (Hellbent) at Randwick last month and is getting better with racing.  He’s the fifth individual winner by Exceedance behind first-crop leaders Dublin Down (ATC Pago Pago Stakes Gr.3 & VRC Maribyrnong Plate Gr.3) and Flyer (SAJC David Coles AM Stakes Gr.3).

“He was gelded early to give him a chance to be a racehorse and I’m sure he will run a mile, not a problem,” John Hawkes said.  “Exceedance is doing a super job.  His progeny will get better as they get older and a horse like Swiftfalcon is going to make the grade as a 3yo.

“He will go to the paddock for a breather now and will come back for some of the better races in the spring.  We have about five by Exceedance and they all show a bit of ability.

His dam Tempting Delight (Northern Meteor) is now a perfect five from five at stud although she was sold by Legh and co. to Lynward Park at the 2023 Magic Millions National Sale in foal to Exceedance.  “That Exceedance is a filly and she’s an absolute cracker,” Lynward Park’s Troy van Heemst revealed.  “Tempting Delight is in foal to Farnan and we brought her back home this year.  The plan is a spring cover by our Snitzel sire Bondi who has taken off over here this season.”

Lynward Park also bred promising 3yo filly Petrouchka to win the Kunine Grazing Maiden (1400m) at Northam on Thursday.  The daughter of Vinery legend More Than Ready (USA) is a half-sister to the van Heemst family’s black-type winners I’m Feeling Lucky (La Trice Classic Gr.3), Utgard Loki (Bull & Bush Cup LR) and Baronova (Belmont Classic LR).  Their dam Twinkle Toes (Danehill) is a close relation of Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Maybe (Galileo) and her Group 1 English 2000 Guineas-winning son Saxon Warrior (Deep Impact).

“Petrouchka was heading to the Perth autumn carnival prior to going shin-sore after a barrier trial at Lark Hill,” van Heemst added.  “We had to tip her out but she has a bright future and her turn of foot is a weapon.”  Trainers Grant and Alana Williams will set her for the Belmont Oaks (LR, 2000m) on July 6.

Hoofnote: More Than Ready sired his 226th black-type winner when Emery justified odds-on favouritism in the Leslie’s Lady Stakes (LR, 1400m) at Churchill Downs last Sunday, June 9.  Emery powered home from last to score by three lengths in a sharp 1:22.46s. Her dam Athena (Street Sense) was a Listed winner at Laurel Park and Lone Star Park.