Hayes keeps faith de­spite Vega rush

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - SPORT - RAY THOMAS RAND­WICK

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

Now the race has ar­rived, his opin­ion hasn’t changed.

This is de­spite the flood of money for sta­ble­mate Vega Magic in the past two days which has forced that sprinter into $4.80 equal favouritism for the in­au­gu­ral The Ever­est (1200m) at Rand­wick to­day.

But Hayes said the bar­rier draw has given a slight ad­van­tage to $9.50 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 the 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 pre­sented 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 out 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.

“He didn’t run time, he wasn’t out there to do that, I just wanted to give him another look around Rand­wick.

“He is do­ing ev­ery­thing right and is get­ting onto his Syd­ney leg with­out any is­sues. We have given him plenty of prac­tice the Syd­ney way back home at Lind­say Park, too.’’

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 $51 but Hayes main­tains she will be com­pet­i­tive.

“I’ve been work­ing Tulip with some of my best sprint­ers back home like Shei­del and Keen Ar­ray and she can mix it with them,’’ he said.

Golden Slip­per win­ner She Will Reign shares favouritism with Vega Magic while cham­pion sprinter Chau­tauqua is next at $5.

Pic­ture: AAP IM­AGE

Red­kirk War­rior is primed to per­form at his best in The Ever­est at Rand­wick to­day, ac­cord­ing to his trainer David Hayes.

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