The John McNair-trained Hay List could be forced to undergo a special veterinary inspection to gain clearance to run in this Saturday’s BTC Cup where the galloper would face off against superstar sprinter Black Caviar for a fourth time.
All week Gosford-based trainer McNair has been talking up the chances five-year-old Hay List, winner of the Group 1 All Aged Stakes last start, has of finally getting the better of Peter Moody’s freakishly talented mare Black Caviar.
However, if Hay List does not pass as fit to race, it could be all over.
After reports Hay List threw a shoe at trackwork at his home course in Gosford on Monday, Queensland’s chief racing steward Wade Birch is preparing to discuss the issue of a vet check with McNair.
“I’ll ring John (McNair) and if need be we’ll get our own vet to inspect the horse,” Birch said.
“It’s a Group One race and in circumstances like this we may need an inspection to ensure Hay List is fit and suitable to race.”
McNair, however, sees no reason to be worried.
“I’m not too concerned,” McNair said.
“If stewards want to vet him I won’t lose any sleep over it.
“There’s no damage and it’s a regular occurrence with him.
“He didn’t do any damage like he has done in the past.
“The vet I’ve got is very clever and he was quick to fix him.”
Hay List is well-known for his ongoing hoof troubles, which only yesterday McNair said were under control.
“They are the best they have been for a while,” he said.
“But I can say he is terrific…and in two days’ time it could be a different story.”
While Black Caviar has been happy to bask in the sunshine state spotlight having been floated up to Queensland last Sunday, McNair is trying to avoid as much of the carnival hype as possible and will not send Hay List to Brisbane until Thursday night.
“I know what the pressure is like and what Peter (Moody) must be going through up in Brisbane,” McNair said.
“I copped the same pressure before Hay List won the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.
“All the pressure got a bit too much for me.”
Hay List has thrice faced the queen, but has failed to finish within three lengths of the mighty mare.
“Over 1200 metres Black Caviar seems to have our measure,” McNair admitted.
The BTC Cup odds tell the same tale, with Black Caviar $1.16 in the current markets followed on the next line of betting by Hay List at a much longer quote of $5.50.
The pair could also face off again in Brisbane, however, a fortnight later in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 where Black Caviar would be tried over 1350m for the first time.
“Once they step out further in distance it’ll be a different story,” McNair said.
“We’ve met three times and so far it’s three-zip to Black Caviar.”