Animal Kingdom's Wild Planet Earns First Stakes Win

Mark Smith - Saturday October 6

Runner-up in Listed races at Moonee Valley and Flemington, Wild Planet broke his maiden at his most recent start at Ballarat then went back to back when overcoming a wide run in Saturday's Listed Antler Luggage Stakes (Poseidon Stakes) (1400m) at Flemington.

Ridden by Dwyane Dunn for team Hawkes, the son of Animal Kingdom (USA) defeated the tragically unlucky favourite Ranier (Lonhro) by a head with Khulaasa (Epaulette) a long-head back in third. (photo Grant Courtney)

"I was three wide with no cover but had Hughie (Hugh Bowman on Ranier) where I needed him. I just had to keep him balanced and save him for one last surge," Dunn said.

"He's still got plenty of improvement fitness wise and has a bright future."

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said he had all but given up shortly after the field jumped.

"He was three and four deep with no cover and after they went two hundred metres I half looked away and thought we are gone here," Hawkes said.

"He rode him the best he could. He didn't panic and crept up and crept up and when he came around the corner he held him for as long as he could before he went for him. He had every chance to be beaten and it was a gutsy win.

"He had a hard run so I don't know where he will go next. The Caulfield Guineas is next Saturday and he is still in it but I don't know if you back up after a hard run today but you never know.

"The Carbine Club here at Flemington or put him in the paddock and bring him back for an Australian Guineas, we just don't know yet "

Purchased by Hawkes Racing / Andrew Williams Bloodstock for $280,000 out of the Arrowfield draft at the 2017 Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Wild Planet is the third foal and first winner for the Redoute's Choice mare Salutations who is a daughter of Group II winner Toast Of The Coast (Rory's Jester).

Salutations had a Dundeel colt at this year's Easter Yearling Sale that also made $280,000, this time to Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock.

After having a Dundeel filly last spring, Salutations was bred back to Animal Kingdom (USA) but slipped.

Wild Planet becomes the sixth stakes-winner for Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom (USA) who did not return to Arrowfield Stud this year.

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