Ace hoop Glyn Schofield was over the moon after partnering with sidelined super sprinter Hay List in a private track gallop at their home course at Gosford this morning giving trainer John McNair hope the horse hasn’t run his last race.
The former WA champ’s career has been marred by injuries that have seen them spend many months away from the action but McNair has refused to throw the towel in with the Statue Of Liberty gelding.
Hay List joined McNair after a seven month injury-enforced spell in 2010 and won four of their opening six starts for their new trainer including the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) that September.
Their record would likely have included a number of other Group 1 wins if Hay List, who has won 15 of their 23 starts to date for over $2.5 million in prize money, had not come up against the freakishly talented Black Caviar.
He has faced Australia’s turf darling five times recording four seconds and a sixth.
Along with his 2010 Manikato Stakes victory Hay List also boasts two other elite level trophies having taken out the 2011 All Aged Stakes in the wet and the Newmarket Handicap this autumn at Flemington.
He was last seen running second to Foxwedge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23, a recurrent knee injury followed by a career and life threatening bout of colic that required emergency surgery seeing them spelled ever since.
Regular jockey Schofield however made a special trip to Gosford on Tuesday morning to jump back in the saddle of the gallant galloper and was surprised to find the horse rode like “the normal Hay List”.
“I went up there mindful that he was coming back from a life threatening injury and when I cantered him off I was very surprised because he felt just like the normal Hay List,” Schofield said.
“Once I got him up into a bit of speed I could feel he was a little bit sensitive, cautious, which I was glad he was because I didn’t want him going flat out and doing harm, but in no way was he unsound.
“Honestly, I couldn’t believe he felt as good as he did.”
The ever-patient McNair is thrilled with Hay List’s progress and named the $175,000 Group Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Rosehill Gardens next March during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival as their likely resuming run.
“All is going to plan,” he said describing Tuesday morning’s successful gallop as “Christmas come early”.
“(It will be light work for the next) four or five weeks before getting serious with him.
“March, the Challenge Stakes is the plan.
“It’s weight-for-age over 1000 metres on a track he likes so it’s the comeback race.”
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