It would have been a fairy tale if Hay List could have returned from injury to win the 2013 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) but trainer John McNair has ruled out any chance of that happening.
The classy sprinter was nominated to defend his title in Australia’s most prestigious sprint but a hefty 59.5 kilograms will prevent him chasing back-to-back titles.
Hay List produced one of the performances of the year to run down Buffering with 58.5kg on his back last year but McNair told AAP the expected increase is just too great an impost.
“I wasn’t happy when he had 58.5 last year so with 59.5 he’s no hope in the wide world,” he said.
The Statue Of Liberty gelding has given every indication he will make a successful return from the injuries that have prevented him racing since his second to Foxwedge in the William Reid Stakes in March.
But where he makes his come back to the track is yet to be decided, with McNair still weighing up which would be the best option as a lead-up into the major autumn goal of the Group 1 2013 TJ Smith.
McNair has previously outlined the Group 2 2013 Challenge Stakes at Warwick Farm on March 30 as a possible option but admits the timing isn’t exactly right.
“The Challenge Stakes is the only weight-for-age race in Sydney that is suitable but it’s four weeks before the TJ,” McNair said.
Had it not been for Black Caviar, Hay List would most likely be the most talked about sprinter in recent times, with his stellar record standing at 15 wins from 23 starts. He also boasts stakes winnings in excess of $2.5 million.