John McNair’s last-start Newmarket Handicap winner Hay List will attempt to take his Group 1 tally to four on Friday night when he goes up against a crack field under the lights at Moonee Valley for the 2012 William Reid Stakes.
There were a total of 11 sprinters nominated for the $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) this year, Hay List the top-rated of the early entries.
After spending a little over nine months on the sidelines due to a life-threatening leg infection, Gosford-based giant Hay List resumed with a first-up second to his perennial conqueror Black Caviar in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 18.
Without Black Caviar there to beat him to the line next start, however, Hay List made history carrying 58.5kg to victory in a close finish in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
He is now eyeing another elite level in the William Reid Stakes where Hay List will again face off with Newmarket Handicap runner-up Buffering.
One of two 2012 William Reid Stakes nominees for Brisbane-based horseman Rob Heathcote along with Oakleigh Plate hero Woorim, Mossman four-year-old Buffering came within a short half-head of the Newmarket win but couldn’t hold off Hay List.
Getting back to weight-for-age conditions Buffering will again hold the advantage, but not the huge one he had in the Newmarket.
It is a star-studded list of William Reid Stakes entries for Friday night with other big names heading towards the race including Peter Snowden’s Group 1 performer Beaded out to atone for her 11th in the big Newmarket finish, Newmarket Handicap third placegetter Foxwedge, resuming Mossman stallion Love Conquers All and last spring’s Cox Plate and Mackinnon Stakes third placed Rekindled Interest.
Trainer of Rekindled Interest, Jim Conlan may have a Moonee Valley track specialist lining up on Friday night but he doesn’t think his horse will threaten the favourite.
“I don’t think we can beat Hay List,” Conlan said.
“At weight-for-age there is only one horse that can beat him and that’s Black Caviar, but Rekindled (Interest) is going as good as ever.
“His work is terrific, he loves the Valley, but he’s going to be giving Hay List a pretty big start.
“I don’t know if he can make up that sort of ground over 1200-metres.”
Hong Kong sprinter Happy Zero, last year’s Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls, the Peter Moody-trained Mid Summer Music and Robert Smerdon’s Goodwood hero Lone Rock round out the William Reid Stakes early entries.
The 2012 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes field will be released later in the week and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2012 William Reid Stakes Nominations
Moonee Valley – 23/03/2012
|3||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||109|
|5||HAPPY ZERO||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||110|
|6||HAY LIST||John McNair||121|
|7||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||109|
|8||LOVE CONQUERS ALL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||112|
|9||MID SUMMER MUSIC||Peter G Moody||102|
|10||REKINDLED INTEREST||Jim Conlan||110|