RACING Warrior can beat Vega to the peak
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.