Melbourne horseman David Hayes is supremely confident one of his two Robert Sangster Stakes 2015 acceptors can score an upset and take out the Adelaide classic at Morphettville Racecourse this weekend.
One of two Group 1s on the program in SA on Saturday, this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) field is down to 16 runners after 2013 winner Platelet was scratched from the original line-up by her trainer Darren Weir.
Of the remaining fillies and mares in the mix, it is former Blue Diamond winner Miracles Of Life ($4.80) who kicked off her career in Adelaide and John Sadler’s William Reid Stakes runner-up Vain Queen ($5) dominating the Robert Sangster Stakes odds through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Hall Of Famer Hayes, who now trains in partnership with his nephew Tom Dabernig, meanwhile has two livewire chances.
The Flemington-based team are represented by Gregers ($11) and three-year-old Wawail ($17), both at double figures to win the weight-for-age classic and are Hayes’s 20th and 21st runners in a race he is yet to prepare the winner of.
“I think both of them will run really well in what is a hot race,” Hayes told Racing Victoria.
Drawn in gate eight with Craig Williams in the saddle, in-form Commands four-year-old Gregers is the right age for the win with three of the past four Robert Sangster Stakes winners taking it out during their four-year-old season.
Gregers is third-up on Saturday having her third start at Morphettville where her best result was a third behind Driefontein in this race 12 months ago.
She also backed up and ran a brave fourth to upset winner Smokin’ Joey one run after that in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), and so is well performed at this level during the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival.
“Gregers nearly won it (the Robert Sangster) last year and she’s in better form than last year,” Hayes declared.
He is also confident his flying filly Wawail isn’t there to fill numbers, Michael Walker riding the Lonhro three-year-old who is out to become the first three-year-old to win the race since Rostova (2010) five years ago.
Wawail is drawn a treat in gate six and won the Group 2 Kenwey Stakes (1400m) two back at Flemington in mid-March.
She was last seen running third to Fontein Ruby, favourite for the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide on Saturday, in the Listed Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 27 and will benefit with the addition of blinkers on this Saturday.
“Wawail wins more than she loses,” Hayes said.
“She’s dropping back in distance and she has the blinkers on which sometimes can work a treat.”
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