Connections of hulking great sprinter Hay List are confident the five-year-old is in the right form for a big win in the Doomben 10,000 on Saturday.
Statue of Liberty gelding Hay List finally looks set to become a triple Group 1 winner following the withdrawal of his arch nemesis Black Caviar from this year’s $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
While Moody’s unbeaten queen of the turf enjoys a well-earned spell ahead of a highly-spruiked spring comeback, Hay List is gearing up for the 10,000.
With the ‘Black Flash’ out, Hay List is the firm favourite in the pre-field Doomben 10,000 markets paying $1.55.
On Saturday Hay List will reunite with regular rider and champion hoop Glyn Schofield.
After a nasty fall in last month’s Sydney Cup, Schofield missed the winning ride aboard Hay List in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
His injured collarbone also prevented him from taking the mount when Hay List was defeated by Black Caviar for the fourth time in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben a fortnight back.
“He got the win he deserved in the All Aged and it was unfortunate I wasn’t on him,” Schofield said.
Now fully recovered, Schofield showed he had lost none of his gleam as one of the best jockeys in the world, scoring an impressive win in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) at Kranji Racecourse on possible Melbourne Cup-bound Gitano Hernando on Sunday night.
Flying back to Brisbane especially for the Doomben 10,000 ride, Schofield is brimming with confidence that Hay List is the one to beat.
Before the Singapore Cup, Schofield had time to make a special trip to partner with Hay List in a dawn hitout at Doomben on Saturday morning.
Hay List was given a workout over 800m and Schofield was impressed with the run.
“He felt terrific,” Schofield said.
“He’s very fit and we didn’t want to go too hard.
“It was perfect work….he is going to be spot-on for the 10,000.”
Trainer John McNair was also happy with how well Hay List came through the work, but was hoping the recent showers in Brisbane cleared ahead of Saturday.
“It’s raining in Brisbane and they are expecting more during the week and I wouldn’t want too much,” McNair said.
“He had a good gallop on Saturday and will have another on Wednesday morning.
“He normally blows hard after a gallop but he pulled up terrific.
“I’m being guarded with him.
“Everyone expects him to dominate but it’s not a foregone conclusion and he has to turn up with his A game.”
Indeed, this year’s Doomben 10,000 is shaping up as a top showdown with other leading fancies for the race including Peter Snowden’s multiple Group 1 placegetter Beaded, Doncaster Mile runner-up Love Conquers All and the smart Peter Moody-trained filly Curtana.
“He still looks very well and has worked well but he’s had a hard campaign and I don’t know if there’s an awful lot left,” McNair continued.
“But all going well he should deliver.”
McNair is still considering a run in next month’s $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm for Hay List, a race he is currently the $5 second elect for behind boom three-year-old Sincero ($4.60).
“We’ll get through the 10,000 first,” McNair said.
Schofield was one of the main supporters encouraging McNair to consider the Stradbroke for Hay List, who has been allocated 57.5kg.
“I’d recommend the Stradbroke but it’s not my call,” Schofield said.
“I’m not sure how it fits into the grand plan for the horse.
“Hay List is not a one-dimensional horse.
“In a 1400m race he could sit behind if a lightly-weighted horse wanted to go crazy up front.”
McNair could turn his back on a tilt at the Stradbroke after Saturday, however, with Hay List eligible for a penalty if he salutes in the Doomben 10,000.
“We’ll keep the Stradbroke as an option for now,” McNair said.
“A few things would have to go right, especially a decent barrier.”