In 2016, Annabel took up the opportunity to travel to Australia – for what was meant to be a working holiday. She never left, and now can’t imagine being anywhere else. Annabel started training in her own right in August 2020 and trained her first Group 1 winner Mo’unga in the Rosehill Guineas in under 8 months of training alone. During her two years in charge of Ciaron Maher’s Sydney stable, Annabel savoured several major victories and assisted in guiding the careers of some exceptionally talented horses including Dubious, Away Game, Prague, Cellsabeel and Etah James. “Climbing the mountain and getting to the top is difficult but staying there is much harder,” Hawkes once said. “Racing is so competitive these days, there are a lot of good trainers, and it takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes to stay there and not start sliding down the other side.”The stable has now achieved 25 Black type wins with 7 Group 1’s, 8 Group 2’s. A phenomenal strike rate of 16% with over $22 million in stakes earnings.
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