Don't Hesitate giving my boy a Protostar run, says Burns

Damien Burns is hoping unbeaten juvenile Hesitate will catch the eye of slot holders for this year’s inaugural Protostar in Queensland.


Burns prepares just a small team at Snake Valley, just outside of Ballarat, and has unearthed what he thinks is potentially the best horse he's had in a 20-year training career.

Hesitate backed-up his debut win with a dominant performance in Saturday night's TAB Premiere 2YO Stakes at Melton, zipping home in a slick final quarter to run down stablemate Stormy Woods while holding off first-starter Archie Moth.

Burns then used the TrotsVision broadcast to put his horse's name forward for the $500,000 two-year-old feature at Albion Park on July 27.

"I think this horse could be the best horse I've trained," Burns, who also drove the son of Sportswriter, said.

"I've got a pretty big opinion of this bloke and a little while ago I saw that race in Queensland - the slot race - so I'm hoping someone might give us a spot.

"I love the horse. He's just beautifully natured, a natural two-year-old and he's got high speed as well as strength.

"They don't come around like this very often. I'm pretty lucky."

Burns, who has prepared talented types such as Mornings, Youaremy Sunshine and Solesseo Matuca in a training career that boasts 89 wins, is eyeing off the Shakamaker 2YO Classic back at Melton on March 23 for Hesitate's next start.

"I still haven't really let the horse go to be honest, so I don't know how good he is," Burns said.

Hesitate's second career victory was Burns' third two-year-old triumph of 2024, with Stormy Woods also winning at Ballarat on Thursday.

Julie Douglas trained the only double on Saturday night at headquarters, with Clymenus winning the opening event on the card before Ideal Escape led all the way in the fast class clash.