Leading trainer David Hayes has confirmed exciting two-year-old prospect Wilderness will line up for a maiden tilt at a Group level event at Rosehill Gardens this weekend; set to take part in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m).
Having recorded a less-than favourable result in his maiden race start on March 15th, Hayes told TVN he is expecting Wilderness to produce a far-more convincing display in the Pago Pago Stakes, with a vastly different riding approach to be taken.
“He was ridden too close at Bendigo, far too close” Hayes said.
“I’m expecting with different riding tactics we’ll get a different result.”
Highly publicised for his hefty $2.4 million price tag, Wilderness was unable to match the late pace of talented two-year-old filly Eloping in the Vobis Gold Rush (1000m) at Bendigo on debut, finishing nearly eight lengths off the pace in fourth.
Having reportedly pulled up well following his trip to Bendigo, Wilderness will be Hayes’ sole entrant in the Pago Pago Stakes on Saturday, after stable mate and fellow-nominee Petrology was confirmed for an appearance in a two-year-old event at Mornington on Wednesday.
Hoping to field runners in Saturday’s other two-year-old event; the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) for fillies, Hayes confirmed talented chance Clifton Red is close to figuring as a certain starter, while For Lulu is unlikely to make the trip.
“Clifton Red is a good chance of backing-up, as long as she keeps eating this weekend, but For Lulu has been turned out; she’s gone shin-sore.” Hayes said.
While unable to overcome a poor jump when seventh in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) amongst particularly classy competition at Rosehill last weekend, Clifton Red arguably offers Hayes his best chance of walking away with another Group-level crown this weekend, having strolled home in the Group 3 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) on debut at the beginning of March.
Final fields and barrier draws for both the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes and Group 2 Magic Night Stakes are due for release on Wednesday morning.
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