The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Hulking sprinter Hay List showed he was on-track for his historical attempt to win the Newmarket Handicap 2012 with his big weight Saturday week at Flemington after a successful Wyong trial on Friday morning.
The John McNair-trained six-year-old pleased connections and regular rider Glyn Schofield with his successful hitout, Hay List showing he had come through his first-up second behind the mighty Black Caviar in the Lightning Stakes a fortnight ago in good style.
Hay List was able to put one and three quarter lengths on the next past the post Uate in the opening Wyong trial this morning over 1000-metres, a solid effort on the Heavy-rated track and the merit of which was further enhanced by the fact the third placed Onyajet was over 10 lengths off the winner.
“I eased him down with about 100 metres to go,” Schofield said.
“I’m really happy with him.
“He feels good, he trialled well and he looks fantastic.”
Statue Of Liberty gelding Hay List has been in the headlines this week after copping 58.5kg by the handicapper for his next autumn major, the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.
After McNair aired his disapproval of the big weight, connections overruled the trainer’s suggestion to skip the Newmarket in favour of heading straight to Sydney and managing-owner Terry Davenport confirmed Hay List would be there in the Black Caviar-less Newmarket Handicap field.
All the signs are positive heading into the Newmarket test where Hay List will attempt a modern-day weight carrying record to win, Gold Stakes the last to carry a 58.5kg or more to victory when they lumped 60kg to take out the 1959 edition.
“You don’t get anything winning by ten lengths in barrier trials,” Schofield said.
“You’ve got to win races and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”
Hay List remains the firm favourite in the Newmarket Handicap odds at the aptly-named online bookie bookmaker.com.au, paying $3 to take out the sprint clash, but McNair remains unhappy about the decision to go.
‘‘I am still not happy about going, because of the weights, but I only train the horse and Terry (Davenport) is the owner,’’ he said.
‘‘Terry has his heart set on winning the Newmarket, because in his mind it is the premier sprint in Australia.
‘‘This will be his last strong gallop before we go to Melbourne.
‘‘We will take Hay List down to Melbourne on Sunday so this barrier trial is very important.
‘‘You have to remember that the horse will be second-up after a long spell (in the Newmarket) giving weight away to good horses.
‘‘But champions can do anything and I think this horse has already proven how good he is.’’
The other notable Wyong trial winner from this morning was the Brett Partelle-trained Torio’s Quest who ran decent time to win their 800-metre hitout by a length before the remaining trials had to be cancelled due to the deteriorating track conditions.
Four length winner of last year’s Queensland Guineas, the local Wyong-based Oratorio four-year-old trialled for the first time in 2012 after they injured themselves when finishing dead last behind King Mufhasa in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield in October.
“He has recovered well from all his problems,” Partelle, who was yet to map out an autumn plan for Torio’s Quest, said.
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