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They may have raced much below par behind the since retired superstar Black Caviar last time out but Hay List will be given their chance to atone with trainer John McNair hopeful they will be right to contest the 2013 All Aged Stakes at Royal Randwick on Sydney Cup Day this Saturday.
The now seven-year-old Staute Of Liberty gelding was once spruiked as the horse to beat Moody’s 15-time Group 1 champion Black Caviar when the star sprinters first met in the 2010 Patinack Farm Classic.
As it turned out Hay List was no match for the mighty mare and he could only manage to finish sixth pulling up lame after the showdown.
Hay List would go on to finish second behind Black Caviar three times next prep, enjoying a big win in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick in her absence that Sydney carnival, before a strong autumn campaign last year.
During that prep Hay List played second fiddle to the Black Flash once again in the Lightning Stakes before posting another Group 1 title of his own in the Newmarket Handicap.
Injury and illness plagued him throughout this time and came again last autumn cutting their run short and they spent a full year on the sidelines.
There was a hint of their former champion status on show first-up when fourth to the flying filly Snitzerland in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m).
It was back to square one on April 13 when Hay List could only manage to finish 19 lengths away 10th to Black Caviar in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), excused by a hoof abscess and respiratory issues.
McNair is willing to forgive them that run and give Hay List one last chance to return to form planning to accept them for the $400,000 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on the weekend.
It is going to be a stellar field full of dangerous rivals however with the likes of triple Group 1 winning colt All Too Hard who is set for a stallion career with Vinery Stud, glamour mare More Joyous looking to atone for her luckless fifth in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes and TJ Smith Stakes fourth-placed Rain Affair all heading towards the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival classic.
The trainer gained some confidence on Sunday however when regular rider Glyn Schofield partnered with the gallant galloper for a bit of work Gosford saying that aside from a slight wheeze they seemed in good order.
“He’ll be nominated for the All Aged,” McNair said.
“We have finally conquered his back foot issue and as long as his lungs are OK he will run.”
The final okay will likely be given on Tuesday after they have a more trying track gallop.
If not the All Aged Stakes this weekend McNair will consider a trip to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival where races like the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 could make nice Group 1 targets.
The official 2013 All Aged Stakes nominations are out now with 15 early entries – nominations extended until 11:00am (AEST) tomorrow.
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