Star sprinter Hay List is on track to return to the racecourse in time for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival next year.
The seven-year-old is currently recovering from knee surgery, however, is moving forward in leaps and bounds according to trainer John McNair.
“Hay List is well ahead of where they expected him to be,” McNair said.
“He’s had three knee surgeries but is progressing quickly.
“He’s up to cantering and I hope we see him in the autumn.”
The Statue Of Liberty gelding is unlikely to make it to the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington, which has recently been named after his arch nemesis Black Caviar, and will instead focus on the Sydney portion of the carnival.
The Group 2 Challenge Stakes on Saturday March 30, 2012, at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse will be one of his main targets.
“He’ll bypass the Lightning and race in Sydney” McNair said.
“I think he races better in this direction and the Challenge Stakes is a race I’ve picked to start off with.”
While Hay List is well ahead of his expected recovery time, McNair himself is struggling to get back to his best.
The trainer broke a vertebrae, his pelvis, his ankle and his foot when a horse fell on him in September.
“He’s doing better than me,” he said of Hay List.
“It’s been ten weeks and I thought I’d be right by now but will need a stick for a bit longer although the doctors tell me I am doing better than most.
“The worst thing is not being able to get on a horse.”
Hay List has not raced since March this year, when he finished second to Foxwedge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Prior to that, he posted a well deserved victory in the $1 million Newmarket Handicap by a nose in front of Buffering while carrying the top weight of 58.5 kilograms.
Hay List has won 15 of his 23 race starts and has earned more than $2.54 million in prize money during his successful horse racing career.
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