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Swear has quality to beat barrier: Hawkes

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When a star trio of colts emerged amid Hawkes Racing's three-year-old winning spree, Swear was anointed the stayer of the bunch to be sent on a Group One charge.

He gets his first chance to repay the faith in Saturday's Spring Champion Stakes over 2000 metres at Randwick.

Stablemate Divine Prophet will also contest a Group One race in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Saturday, while the third member of the high-flying trio Star Turn, will run in the Group Two Schillachi Stakes over 1100m.

Swear finished sixth after being squeezed for room in the final 200m of the Gloaming Stakes, less than a length from winner Veladero.

"You've just got to put a line through last start. He got too far back," co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.

Before the Gloaming, Swear won the Group Three Ming Dynasty Quality on September 3 and Hawkes described him as a stayer on the up.

While barrier 11 of 11 is not ideal, Hawkes believes Swear has the quality to overcome the widest gate.

"Unfortunately he's drawn awkward but you know what? He gets his chance to win because he's a good colt," Hawkes said.

"He's a good chance."

If Swear is a member of Hawkes Racing's rock star group of three-year-old colts, Ready Fire Aim is for now, in one of the support acts.

He is one of two maidens in the Spring Champion along with the Pat Carey-trained Khartoum, but Hawkes believes his spot is justified.

"We're throwing him in the deep end but he's definitely got the ability to be there," Hawkes said.

Ready Fire Aim was defeated in a Hawkesbury maiden last start as he stretched out to 1800m for the first time.

"He's probably looking for further," Hawkes said.

Swear is at $6 for the Spring Champion behind Yankee Rose who is $2.60 favourite to become the first filly to win the race, and Prized Icon at $3.50.

Ready Fire Aim is a $51 chance.

Godolphin colt Honeywine couldn't reel in Veladero in the Gloaming, while stablemate Retaliation was relegated from third to fourth following a successful protest by the connections of Prized Icon.

Godolphin managing director Henry Plumptre said both were staking their claims for the Group One Victoria Derby at Flemington on October 29.

"Both colts are among the stable's more prominent Derby candidates and both are in great form," Plumptre said.

"Honeywine looks like an out-and-out stayer who will be well-suited by the extra ground."

Honeywine is a $12 chance and Retaliation is at $21.

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