Lindsay Park horseman David Hayes is looking to back up the stable’s Blamey Stakes 2016 winner from ‘Super Saturday’ He Or She up in Sydney during ‘The Championships’ targeting the Doncaster Mile with the former Perth galloper.
With Hayes and co-trainer Tom Dabernig in Melbourne for a couple of preparations now, Kendal Star five-year-old He Or She appreciated a drop in weight and distance in this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) over the Flemington mile.
Having his fourth run at the famous Victorian track, the chestnut gelding improved off his last start 10th to Bow Creek – favourite for the Australian Cup later on the card – in Caulfield’s Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) from Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Looking a little one-paced in that run, He Or She relished coming back from 59kg at weight-for-age to just 55kg for the Blamey Stakes at set weights plus penalties with jockey Craig Williams jumping aboard for the ride.
“We decided to freshen him up a little and go for the mile,” Hayes explained.
Peter Moody’s Kenjorwood from barrier two was fast away and took up the lead from Trust In A Gust, who later dropped right out of the race in a concern for connections of the Group 1 winning galloper.
It was a suicidal pace set early by Kenjorwood with the field spread right out. Williams bode his time with the eventual winner who was back off the pace as the front runners went very quickly over the first half of the race.
Around the bend Kenjorwood railed well with race favourite Startum Star, who had run fourth and third throughout, winding up on the straight.
In the closing stages He Or She ($5) made his move off the hot pace, moving up in the last 60m to get up over the top of them.
Williams had let the horse find his way and on the line he had long neck to spare over the classy Robert Hickmott-trained import The United States, whose lead-up was a fifth beaten under two lengths by Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m).
Finishing off the Blamey Stakes trifecta for third a length further back was the Darren Weir-trained Futurity Stakes runner-up from a fortnight ago Stratum Star ($2.80).
The winning time was sub 1.35, and the pace certainly was part of the key for He Or She’s win.
“It really did suit him,” Williams said of the pace.
“They (connections) were very bullish heading into this and were comfortable to say they were declaring the horse, and he delivered.
“The step back in trip produced a really good win against a quality field.”
Hayes, who celebrated his fifth Blamey Stakes win with He Or She, is hoping to back the horse straight-up in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 2.
History is against He Or She to win that classic however with the last Doncaster Mile winner to come off a non-Sydney lead-up being the filly Sunline back in 1999.
“We thought we’d go the Doncaster route,” Hayes confirmed.
“I think the horse we beat today (The United States) is a very good horse.
“I think this race will become a good form race later down the track.
“(The Doncaster next-up) will be my call if he pulls up well.
“Hard run miles with no weight are really good to win.”
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2016 Blamey Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 4 – 12/03/2016
|1||10||HE OR SHE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||–||4||55kg||$5|
|2||5||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||0.4L||3||58kg||$5|
|3||2||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||1.4L||6||58kg||$2.70F|
|4||9||KENJORWOOD||Peter G Moody||Luke Currie||3.65L||2||55kg||$10|
|5||6||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3.75L||8||57kg||$17|
|6||8||GUARDINI (FR)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||James Winks||4.5L||9||56kg||$51|
|7||7||OBSERVATIONAL (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||5.75L||5||57kg||$71|
|8||11||MANNDAWI (FR)||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||10L||1||55kg||$101|
|9||4||DIGITALISM||John Sadler||Michael Dee (a)||10.5L||7||58kg||$151|
|10||1||TRUST IN A GUST||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||25.5L||10||59kg||$6.50|
|–||3||LIDARI (FR)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||–||0||–||–|