Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Hesitate given tick of approval ahead of Protostar

10 July 2024

Share this page

Share on a platform

Or copy the page link

By Adam Hamilton

Premier driver Kate Gath gave exciting youngster Hesitate a big tick of approval after driving him for the first time at the Melton trials yesterday.

It was forerunner to Gath taking the reins on the Damien Burns-trained colt in Australia’s richest two-year-old race, the inaugural $500,000 Protostar at Albion Park on July 27.

“He’s a lovely pacer, very fast,” Gath said. “He had a nice run behind the leader and sprinted quickly when I asked him. He switched off a bit once he hit the front, but clicked him up and he took off again.

“He hasn’t raced for a while, so I’m sure there’s improvement to come, too.”

Hesitate has raced five times for three wins and two seconds, the latest behind second to Forty Love in the Sapling Stakes at Melton on May 25.

Damien Burns drives Hesitate to victory in the Tab Premier 2yo Stakes at Melton Park. (Photo: Stuart McCormick)

Burns said Hesitate came through the hit out well and would trial again at Melton next Monday.

“This trial showed he’s pretty fit, but another one next week and a lead-up run should have him right at his top for the Protostar. Looking at the horses he’ll be against, I’ll need to have him primed,” he said.

“There’s another Melton trial next Monday and a possible flight option to Brisbane the next day.

“That would mean we could run him in the Paleface Adios (Classic over 1660m) at Albion Park on the 20th (of July).

“If he doesn’t go that flight, there’s a two-year-old race at Melton on July 19 and he could fly to Brisbane the Tuesday after that (July 23).

“But, ideally, he’ll be on that July 16 flight and we can give him a lead-up run at Albion Park for a look around the track and more time to settle in.”

Gath has commitments at Melton on July 20, so Burns would drive Hesitate in the Paleface Adios and Gath would head-up for the Protostar the week after.

Hesitate is one of two slot runners Ladbrokes has in the Protostar.

The other is Grant Dixon’s Fate Awaits, who is also headed towards the Paleface Adios.

Eight of the 10 Protostar slots have been filled and four are Victorians.

Along with Hesitate, there is Emma Stewart’s pair The Highlight Reel (Jamie Durnberger-Smith slot) and Cigano (GSM Racing slot), as well as Aaron Dunn’s Forty Love, who will race in Dunn’s own slot.

Other confirmed runners are: Bittersweet (Goozdolphin Racing slot), Sweet On Lexy (Gemma Hewitt Racing slot) and My Ultimate Barney (Daren Garrard Racing slot).