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07/01/02 He's "Nothing Special" But Leather Lane Wins Again
1102whawkes.jpg (7922 bytes)Despite scoring his second consecutive metropolitan win the John Hawkes trained Leather Lane had been labelled as "nothing special" by Hawkes' son and Melbourne foreman Wayne after a soft win at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Leather Lane started a short priced favourite in the Night Racing January 10 Handicap (2040m) after a runaway win at Flemington on December 23.

But Wayne Hawkes isn't predicting an overly bright future for the Encores gelding.

"Look he's a very nice horse who is going to win more races, but he's certainly no star and he's nothing really special," he said.

Despite this feeling by the conservative foreman, the gelding will be targetted toward a Group One event in a few months time.

"We would look at a race like the South Australian Derby in Adelaide in May," Hawkes said.

"Whether he's up to that class is not yet known. He really hasn't beaten a lot in his past two races," he added.

Winning jockey Brendan Fenech, who has been aboard for both wins, said after the race he didn't seem as comfortable in his latest effort.

"He raced a lot keener than the other day," Fenech told Hawkes.

Connections also feel the gelding may not have been as well suited on the tighter Moonee Valley circuit.

"He is a big striding horse and I think he would be better suited at a track like Flemington," Hawkes said.

Flemington was the scene of the gelding's previous run, when he never got out of second gear in his ten length demolition of My Queen over 2000 metres.

Hawkes said Leather Lane would now head for a break before being set for the campaign in Adelaide, the city where Hawkes' father John began training early in his career.

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