RAC­ING War­rior can beat Vega to the peak

Townsville Bulletin - - RACING - RAY THOMAS

REDKIRK War­rior has for weeks been trainer David Hayes’ No. 1 seed for the $ 10 mil­lion The Ever­est.

And on the eve of the big race, his opin­ion hasn’t changed. This is de­spite a flood of money for sta­ble­mate Vega Magic in the past two days, which has forced that sprinter into $ 5 equal favouritism with UBET for The Ever­est at Royal Rand­wick to­day.

But Hayes said the bar­rier draw had given a slight ad­van­tage to $ 10 hope Redkirk War­rior, who comes out of gate three while Vega Magic is drawn out in 10.

“I ex­pect Redkirk should get the run of the race from this draw,’’ Hayes said.

“He is a high- class sprinter who was bril­liant in the New­mar­ket Hand­i­cap, he has won in Hong Kong go­ing the Syd­ney di­rec­tion and he has a good track, which he needs.

“The two times he was beaten in Syd­ney last au­tumn was when he was ham­pered by heavy tracks. He is lovely and fresh for The Ever­est and he should run very well.’’

Vega Magic is un­beaten in three starts since join­ing the Hayes sta­ble, scor­ing twice at Group 1 level, in­clud­ing the Mem­sie Stakes at Caulfield last start. How­ever, Hayes said the bar­rier draw was a chal­lenge for Vega Magic and his jockey Craig Wil­liams.

“From that draw, Vega will need a bit of luck early,’’ Hayes said. “It could also work in his favour be­cause when we looked at his de­feats, they have come when he has been in­side horses.

“He does get the room he needs and his form is bril­liant.’’

Vega Magic pro­duced an im­pres­sive track gal­lop at Rand­wick on Mon­day morn­ing and Hayes sent the chest­nut on to the course proper for a work­out again on Thurs­day morn­ing. “I just wanted to give him more ex­pe­ri­ence on the track,’’ Hayes said.

Hayes, who trains in part­ner­ship with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, also has three- year- old filly Tulip in The Ever­est field. Tulip is the rank out­sider at $ 61 but Hayes main­tains she will run a com­pet­i­tive race.

While Hayes will be at Rand­wick for to­day’s The Ever­est meet­ing, he will also have an eye on Mel­bourne where he has a huge team of 20 starters, with sta­ble rep­re­sen­ta­tion in all three Group 1 races.

Catchy is try­ing to be­come the first filly since Sur­round in 1976 to win the $ 2 mil­lion Caulfield Guineas ( 1600m), Pure Scot is in the $ 500,000 Thou­sand Guineas, and the trainer has six run­ners in the $ 500,000 Toorak Hand­i­cap ( 1600m) with Se­aburge, He Or She, Snitz­son, Sov­er­eign Na­tion, Petrol­ogy and Jac­quinot Bay.

Hayes said he de­cided to run Catchy in the Caulfield Guineas rather than against her own sex in the Thou­sand Guineas as the filly has “raced the boys twice and beaten them twice”. “It is four times the money of the Thou­sand Guineas,” the trainer added.

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