After a brave fourth in the Caulfield Cup last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the David Hayes-trained import Jet Away could be set for a different assignment this time in targeting the Cox Plate 2014.
Imported Cape Cross stallion Jet Away put in a stellar run in the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last October getting caught wide before finishing just under two lengths away fourth behind Fawkner in the first run over the distance on Aussie soil.
Their next start however was their undoing when the rising eight-year-old suffered a tendon injury during their sixth placed run behind Side Glance in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 2.
Hayes has the stayer back in work now and progressing towards a first-up run in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
Having shown so much promise in the Caulfield Cup last year, the obvious major target for their new season campaign would be another run in the mile and a half classic.
Their Euroa-based trainer Hayes however is leaning towards a weight-for-age run over less distance instead targeting the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
“The Cox Plate looks ideal for him because the pace will be on and he showed me in the Turnbull (Stakes) that he was right up to the class, he should’ve nearly beaten Happy Trails that day,” Hayes told Racing Victoria speaking of their first-up seventh when beaten 1.9 lengths last October.
“It just depends on how he races.
“The way he was racing last spring I think he’d be a very good horse for either.
“I’m really happy with him; you wouldn’t know that he’s had a tendon injury.”
In futures Caulfield Cup betting markets Jet Away pays $26 and is listed at the same price in the pre-nomination Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
If Jet Away skips the Caulfield Cup 2014 Hayes could still be represented in the race by his promising Group 3 winner Spillway.
The four-year-old Rail Link stallion, another British import, has had just the three runs in Australia for Hayes.
After two unplaced runs in March and April they finally showed form at Randwick putting two and a half lengths on runner-up Danchai in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) on April 26.
They’ve got Group 2 form up to 2414m back in Britain from last year and are showing the signs of making a nice Caulfield Cup type.
“I suppose he couldn’t be a sleeper because he’s a Group 3 winner at his last start but he’s the one who I think will really come up this spring,” Hayes said.
“He’s looking good at this stage and will resume in a handicap. I plan to give him a run in August.”
The bookies agree and have Spillway at $21 to win the Caulfield Cup.
Also nearing their spring returns for Hayes is Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce (1400m) winner Zululand who is set for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.
They will then be set for the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival on November 1 and pay $13 as one of the top early fancies in VRC Derby betting.
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