Former Irish Godolphin import, Duca Valentinois, to be ridden by Hugh Bowman, heads the field of ten for Thursday's Winter Feature at Hawkesbury, the time honored Polytrack Rowley Mile.
As one of the Club's most historic races, the Rowley Mile in its late Winter slot, is establishing itself as a race for current Winter stars to clash with emerging Spring hopefuls for the $150,000 Listed contest.
"The lifting of prize money to $150,000 has been met with a strong response in its third year at this level," said outgoing Hawkesbury CEO, Greg Rudolph.
"The last three winners, McCreery, Arbeitsam and Mister Sea Wolf, all subsequently went on to win at Group level and this race is well suited in the late Winter program, providing strong form lines into the Spring.
"Whilst the Rowley Mile is a little light on numbers, the support card features good fields, which augurs well for a solid start to Spring racing for the club," Rudolph added.
Rudolph expects the race to be a pointer for the hopes of bigger Spring campaigns.
"This race has become a good starting point for some of the stayers aimed at bigger Cup races in the Spring and I expect we will see the same next week," he said.
Godolphin's James Cumming again holds a strong hand with Gaulois, stablemate of the top weight, to be ridden by Tim Clark.
War horse Destiny's Kiss, will also take his place in the field, having been freshened after a trial at Hawkesbury six-weeks-ago.
Whilst the evergreen 11-years-old gelding is attempting to win his first race at Hawkesbury, local hope No Escape will round out the field of ten, hoping to give local trainer Terry Croft, a Black Type win before he heads to the paddock, after an arduous campaign.
The Rowley Mile will again host the Hawkesbury Liquor Accord partners, raising funds for the Hawkesbury-based charity One80TC, aiding the rehabilitation of men and women with drug and alcohol addition.