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