Red­kirk ready to de­fend his turf

Herald Sun - - RACING - MICHAEL MAN­LEY

DAVID Hayes is hop­ing to com­plete a frus­trat­ing spring car­ni­val with a bang on the fi­nal day headed by an as­sault on the VRC Sprint (1200m) with Red­kirk War­rior.

The Lind­say Park sta­ble has been close to suc­cess with three sec­onds, two thirds and sev­eral fourths in Cup Week but hasn’t en­joyed a win.

Hayes is con­fi­dent Red­kirk War­rior can win his fourth Group 1 down the Flem­ing­ton straight.

“Redzel is go­ing to be hard to beat but I think back at Flem­ing­ton we can give him a big fright,” he said.

Hayes was con­cerned with Red­kirk War­rior’s first jumpout at Flem­ing­ton, but thought he was back to his best when he led through­out to win an 800m one there eight days ago.

Red­kirk War­rior has won four of his five starts at Flem­ing­ton, in­clud­ing the past two New­mar­ket Hand­i­caps and this year’s Light­ning Stakes.

His only fail­ure at Flem­ing­ton was in last year’s VRC Sprint, but Hayes said he’d prob­a­bly had had enough af­ter fail­ing in The Ever­est.

Red­kirk War­rior flopped in two runs in Eng­land but Hayes said he sim­ply didn’t travel.

“All the signs were there that he’d trav­elled well but he didn’t per­form, sim­i­lar to when we’ve taken him to Syd­ney. When he’s not at Lind­say Park he doesn’t per­form.”

Red­kirk War­rior is $13 with TAB fixed odds.

Hayes is also hav­ing a pot shot with $34 chance in three­year-old colt Mickey Blue Eyes in the $2 mil­lion Mack­in­non Stakes (2000m).

“He should have fin­ished sec­ond or third in the Derby (but) he didn’t get a crack at them,” Hayes said.

“He didn’t re­ally have a run last week and there’s good prize­money on of­fer.

“He’ll beat more home than will beat him and where that gets him who knows?

“It’s not a weight-for-age race with a lot of depth.”

Pic­ture: JU­LIAN SMITH/AAP

Re­gan Bayliss will part­ner Red­kirk War­rior in to­day’s VRC Sprint at Flem­ing­ton.

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