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View Count: 64 |  Publish Date: February 09, 2013
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Shooting star is on target

Speed machine ... Jay Ford drives rising star Happy Galaxy to victory at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
JAY FORD says Happy Galaxy is starting to show similar qualities to champion sprinter Takeover Target after he accounted for his older rivals in the Expressway Stakes at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
The impressive one-length win prompted Ford, who was Takeover Targets regular jockey during his glittering career, to say Happy Galaxy should have proved doubters wrong after the three-year-old brought up his fifth victory from eight starts.
Hes got a very similar style to Takeover Target, Ford said. He jumps, he runs and he can run you a good first 600 metres and run you a great last 600m.
It was going to be mathematically impossible for any of the runners to run him down because hes a class animal. Advertisement
I think today people might take a bit more notice of him. People were happy to write him off saying his wins were against inferior grade, but today he showed them what he really can do.
Before the race, trainer Michael Hawkes made a last-minute decision to run Happy Galaxy after he only returned from Melbourne on Friday following his win at Caulfield a fortnight earlier.
It was only this morning that we really decided [to run him], Hawkes said. I suppose it was 50/50 depending on how he travelled. The signs were good, he was nice and bright and thats all that mattered.
He handled it well and hes come a long way in a short space of time. No one has a better record with three-year-olds at weight-for-age than dad [John Hawkes]. He knew what he was doing and he continued to win, which is all that matters.
Hawkes said the main worry was not how well the horse would run after an interstate trip, but rather the tactics of Hurrara, which was expected to set a blistering pace up front.
But it did not bother Ford, who said the race panned out perfectly for Happy Galaxy as he sat just off Hurrara in second place approaching the turn before letting go with an impressive sprint.
We thought the only way we could get beat was Hurrara bringing us undone and taking us on, so in the first 50 yards I just avoided that by letting Hurrara go and it was just a matter of holding him together and getting him around the turn, Ford said. Every time he steps out he gets better. In the early days he was quite aggressive and Ive got no doubts that hell improve next preparation.
Hawkes signalled a spell might be in order for his colt after a campaign that has taken him to four different tracks and two states in five starts.
Well see how he pulls up, he said. Hes had five runs in and has come a long way in a short space of time so he might enter the paddock.
The rider of runner-up Skytrain, Christian Reith, said conceding weight to Happy Galaxy proved the difference. It was a great run, Reith said. Hes really knuckling down of late and weve found if you dont pull the stick on him he races a lot more genuine and tries harder.
It was just probably the weight difference at the end of the day. At 55.5 kilograms [Happy Galaxy] has that dash, but he was getting to the line and chasing hard.
Centennial Park, which won the race in 2011, was the eye-catcher as he came from back in the field to run third. He went well, the old fella, and he was doing his best work at the line, jockey Glyn Schofield said.

Keywords:
 Ford   Galaxy   Happy   Hawkes   race   Star   win   Happy Galaxy   Takeover Target   Hurrara 

Picture Keywords
 Ford   Galaxy   Happy   Hawkes   race   Star   win   Happy Galaxy   Takeover Target   Hurrara 
Time: 16:19  |  News Code: 126907  |  Site: brisbanetimes
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