He’s the injury-prone champ that just doesn’t quit and now John McNair’s Gosford-based veteran Hay List could back for a spring campaign that will kick off in Saturday’s 2013 Missile Stakes at Royal Randwick.
A triple Group 1 winner, Statue Of Liberty eight-year-old Hay List is one of just eight gallopers accepted to face off in the $125,000 Group 3 McGrath Real Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) on the weekend.
Drawn in the far outside barrier the old warhorse is listed without a rider after their regular hoop Glyn Schofield copped a suspension over the weekend.
Hugh Bowman however is on standby for the ride should McNair decide for sure to run Hay List.
“Hugh Bowman has been booked if we decide to run,” McNair told AAP.
“The track conditions come into it. Randwick doesn’t seem to be drying out. But it’s more important to see how he is before I make the final decision to accept with him.”
Hay List hasn’t raced since being beaten 19 lengths by the ‘Black Flash’ Black Caviar when 10th in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 13.
Despite having been plagued by leg injuries, multiple bouts of colic and a life-threatening infection Hay List continues to race on and has overcome his latest setbacks – a hoof abscess and knee problem.
“The hoof is growing back but it’s a bit like watching grass grow,” McNair said of Hay List who currently weighs in at about 600kg.
“But the knee looks terrific, it’s 100 per cent.”
Whether they’re past it or can prove an evergreen spring contender will be made clearer if they aren’t scratched form the Missile.
While they face will face just seven rivals it certainly will still be a big task with plenty of talent in this year’s race.
Likely Missile Stakes favourite is the Joe Pride-trained Rain Affair who also runs first-up here.
Described as Sydney’s fastest racehorse the Commands six-year-old has drawn gate five and with have Nash Rawiller aboard.
Rain Affair is a triple Group 2 winner but blew their last start when 14th (of 15) in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 25.
Pride is more than willing to forgive them that run, before which they were second in both the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1200m) behind All Too Hard in Sydney and then second to Your Song in the mud at Eagle Farm in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).
The punters should be too after Rain Affair blitzed their lead-up trial at the track on August 2 winning the 800m hit out by an all too easy nine and a half lengths.
Pride has also accepted for Title who will get the inside run from barrier one, the ageing Honours List seven-year-old looking to improve on some disappointing winter form.
Coming off better runs is Paul Messara’s Mic Mac in gate six with Christian Reith riding.
Reith was actually aboard Rain Affair for their impressive trial win last week but will honour his commitment to ride State Of Liberty eight-year-old Mic Mac on Saturday.
Mic Mac broke a lengthy winning drought on July 6 when beating home the Gai Waterhouse-trained Under The Sun in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill.
They were last seen backing up a fortnight later at the same track finishing a brave second Civic Stakes runner-up when carrying a hefty 60.5kg to Under The Sun’s 54.5kg.
Other notable Missile Stakes hopes then include former Group 1 The Galaxy winner Atomic Force (barrier three) and Gerald Ryan’s Oakleigh Plate champion mare Mrs Onassis who was disappointing first-up when eighth to Pago Rock in the Listed John Monash Stakes (1100m) on July 13.
The full Missile Stakes 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights are listed below.
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2013 Missile Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 6 – 2:50pm (AEST) – 10/08/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||12x212x40x||HAY LIST||John McNair||–||8||58.5kg||117|
|2||x48x44220x||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||5||58.5kg||111|
|3||x5x56x0412||MIC MAC||Paul Messara||Christian Reith||6||58.5kg||106|
|4||x466x079x8||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||Tim Clark||3||58.5kg||103|
|5||740x37166x||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||–||7||58.5kg||100|
|6||23x068490x||TITLE||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||1||58.5kg||100|
|7||6211116×36||MY DESTINY||Kevin Berry||Nathan Berry||2||58.5kg||93|
|8||2310x180x8||MRS ONASSIS||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||4||56.5kg||104|