John McNair has revealed how close he came to losing star sprinter Hay List.
Hay List was scratched from the Doomben 10,000 after he sustained a serious foot abscess. However that is not where the real problems started. Strong antibiotics given to the horse to cure the abscess led to serious bout of colic. A condition that can prove to be fatal in some horses.
“I think we are out of the woods. But we faced the very real prospect of coming home to NSW with an empty horse float,” said McNair.
McNair went on to say that he was lucky that Hay List is a creature of habit, as that is the only reason he noticed the horse was battling colic, a condition that claimed 2008 Melbourne Cup winner Viewed.
“If Hay List wasn’t such a routine-driven racehorse he may not be with us today. He is so predictable that any change in his behaviour is a significant sign something’s not right. We have spent a lot of hours and a lot of worrying but I think we have headed the complaint off at the pass. But it wasn’t easy let me tell you.” McNair said.
McNair confirmed that Hay List would be given an extended break. He refused to set down any plans for his next campaign saying that the horse would come first, and the racing programme second.
“The longest spell we have given him is three weeks. And that was because we were a bit greedy. But this time he will get a good eight or ten weeks, and it will be the longest and best break he will have had. And he needs it,” said McNair.
McNair said that Hay List was unlikely to defend his Manikato crown but also added ‘if Black Caviar turned up we couldn’t have won anyway’.
He also said that a 1400m clash with More Joyous was on his agenda for when Hay List resumes racing.