Ole Kirk after winning the Golden Rose (Image: Bradley Photos)
Saturday's Australian Guineas could be the last time we see champion three-year-old Ole Kirk at the races.
Already a dual Group 1 winner, the colt with shared bloodlines to the great Black Caviar could never earn at the track what he's worth as a sire.
The stud value? According to co-trainer Wayne Hawkes, as much as $35 million.
"If he happened to win, there's every chance he could be retired," Hawkes said.
"I would've been happy if they retired him after Caulfield Guineas, you can't do any more than what you've done.
"Not many horses win one Group 1, let alone the best one in Melbourne and the best one in Sydney as a three-year-old."
Ole Kirk returned to Melbourne for last week's G1 Futurity Stakes having resumed in Sydney with a third in the Inglis Sprint on a Soft track a fortnight prior.
He finished eighth of nine at Caulfield, but the result gave Team Hawkes no cause for concern heading into Saturday's race back against his own age group.
"We wouldn't have accepted if he hadn't come through the race well. It's never easy backing up from week to week, so you've got to be spot on and we've got no reason at this stage not to run him," Hawkes said.
Back out to the mile, the distance of his Caufield Guineas triumph, and on a Good 4 at Flemington, the biggest concern for Ole Kirk and his connections is barrier 15.
"This time last week, you think you've drawn barrier one, it's fantastic and then, by the time you get to the race, barrier one was not to place to be," he said.
"He's drawn a terrible barrier and, as I said, last week barrier one was where you wanted to be pre-race and, at the moment, barrier 15 doesn't look the right place but, come 4 o'clock tomorrow, maybe it is the right place.