The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes believes next autumn’s 2017 Australian Cup looks the ideal race for the stable’s Sandown Stakes winning Hong Kong expat Redkirk Warrior.
The talented Notnowcato six-year-old started favourite in the Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin back in mid-March, but things went amiss and he finished 11th.
Having just his eighth career run the gelding debuted down under for Hayes & Tom Dabernig at the Valley on October 21, running a terrific second behind Sir Bacchus over 1200m.
Hayes admitted pre-race at Ladbrokes Park on Zipping Classic Day he had some queries about how the short-priced favourite ($2.80) would back-up after that tough run in the $150,000 Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m) – run as the Yarramalong Racing Club Stakes.
“He’s second-up after a long, long break,” Hayes said post-win.
“We thought he would win, but he was a very short price and wasn’t a sure thing going into the race.”
Jockey Craig Williams however gave the gun import a perfectly timed ride, saving him for a late burst down the outside that resulted in a smart long neck victory over the Darren Weir-trained Stratum Star ($3.70).
Hayes was happy to be proven wrong and said that while Perth’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 3 was tempting, Redkirk Warrior was likely to head to the paddock ahead of an Autumn Racing Carnival campaign next year.
“I was wrong and I’m pleased to be wrong,” he said.
“He stuck his head out like a good horse and that qualifies him for most good races in the autumn so we’ll back off with him now.
“At the moment we’re focussing on the autumn carnival [next year]. We’ll have a chat with the owner in the next 24 hours [about Perth].
“There’s an 1800m race there in three weeks that’s tempting, but I think he’s done pretty good.
“If we ease him now he’ll be a star in the autumn.”
During the autumn Hayes named the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11, 2017 as a “lovely race” for the Sandown Stakes winner.
“He’s a Group 1 horse for sure,” Hayes said.
“He’s got the scope and race manners about him that tells me he’s a very good horse.
“The Australian Cup looks a lovely race for him and the lead-ups to it.”
Stratum Star was one of the first out of the gates in the Sandown Stakes and landed in front early from Inspector and the fellow Weir-trained Royal Rapture.
Williams meanwhile had the eventual winner positioned perfectly in fourth place upon settling.
At the 800m jockey Craig Newitt made a brave move with the Todd Balfour-trained Un De Sceaux ($26), taking off around the outside and taking up the lead from Stratum Star.
That horse showed the way around the home turn as Redkirk Warrior pulled to the outside starting to wind-up once on the straight.
With 100m to go the leader was tackled by Redkirk Warrior and Stratum Star who fought it out for the win, Un De Sceaux holding to finish third.
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2016 Sandown Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Sandown Race 2 – 12/11/2016
|1||4||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||–||4||54kg||$2.80F|
|2||1||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||0.4L||5||59kg||$3.60|
|3||7||UN DE SCEAUX||Todd Balfour||Craig Newitt||2.15L||6||54kg||$26|
|4||6||INSPECTOR||Peter White||Dean Yendall||3.65L||2||54kg||$26|
|5||3||SLIGHTLY SWEET||Jason Coyle||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5.9L||1||54kg||$12|
|6||2||ROYAL RAPTURE||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||6.3L||7||56.5kg||$4.80|
|7||5||SOVEREIGN NATION||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||6.6L||3||54kg||$8|
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