Triple Group 1 champion Hay List won’t be accepted for the Challenge Stakes at Rosehill Guineas Day this Saturday, trainer John McNair opting to give the beaten William Reid Stakes favorite a short rest ahead of the TJ Smith Stakes 2012 in a fortnight’s time.
Last Friday night hulking Statue Of Liberty six-year-old Hay List backed up from an heroic and history-making Newmarket Handicap win at Flemington on March 10 only to be beaten three quarters of a length by top three-year-old sprinter Foxwedge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Following the defeat, which McNair said Hay List had pulled up wonderfully from, a nomination was thrown in for this Saturday’s $175,000 Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1100m), a race they won 12 months ago.
Connections, however, have decided not to accept Hay List in the race leaving the 2012 Challenge Stakes to be a sprint showdown between boom gallopers Rain Affair and Bel Sprinter.
Instead Hay List will be given a breather before returning to the track for the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday April 14.
“We have decided it is probably better to go straight into the T.J. Smith rather than go around on Saturday,” McNair said.
“f he runs in the Challenge, then when he gets to the T.J. Smith at Randwick, it would be his third start in five weeks and I don’t believe that is the right preparation for the horse.
“As far as his attitude and well-being is concerned, he could easily have started in Saturday’s race as the horse is exceptionally well.
“But he did have a three-week break between the Lightning Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap and that worked out well.
“So, we are going to try and replicate that going as the T.J. Smith Stakes as that race has been his main target all along this campaign.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on Hay List’s autumn racing campaign.
Whether it is Hay List in the TJ Smith Stakes, your favourite juvenile for Saturday week’s Golden Slipper, or any other horse in any other race, bookmaker.com.au have you covered.