The strength of the Hawkes Racing spring team has again been stamped with Divine Prophet claiming the Up And Coming Stakes to cement favouritism for the Golden Rose.
A week ago, Star Turn showed his improvement from his juvenile season with victory in the San Domenico Stakes.
Divine Prophet ($7.50) backed it up on Saturday at Randwick when he came from last to win the Group Three race over 1300m to put a short neck on Derryn ($3.60) with favourite Thronum ($3) the same margin third.
Senior training partner John Hawkes said the two colts would travel different spring paths with Divine Prophet now at $6 for next month's Golden Rose (1400m).
"He will run further than Star Turn. Probably up to a mile, a mile-and-a-quarter," Hawkes said.
"He is in the Golden Rose, the Caulfield Guineas and the Cox Plate but we will take it one step at a time.
"They are both lovely colts but there's a long spring ahead.
"It's a good start for the battlers."
Derryn, a last-start Caulfield winner, firmed from $15 to $11 for the Golden Rose with co-trainer Ben Hayes saying he got to the front a little sooner than hoped.
"He probably got left out in front a bit far out and something from behind just got him on the line," he said.
"I think we can still go for the Golden Rose if we ride him a bit quieter with cover he might be a bit better."
Divine Prophet's third and final start as a two-year-old produced a third in the Group One Champagne Stakes won by Prized Icon who finished fourth on Saturday under Hugh Bowman.
"I was delighted with him," Bowman said.
"He gave away a lot of weight to his rivals today but ran up to expectations and he is on track for this preparation."
G1 - Breeders Crown Day 1
Listed - Sablonnets
Listed - Gd Px De La Ville De Nantes
G2 - Choice Carriers Championship
G2 - Mainichi Broadcast.swan Stakes