Ten-time Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Melody Belle...
Stablemate Vega Magic may have impressed with a Memsie Stakes success over the weekend but head trainer David Hayes said that the 2017 The Everest slot holders The Star were still considering Redkirk Warrior to fill the position.
Saluting for the punters in fine style on Saturday at Caulfield, The Goodwood winner Vega Magic posted a second elite level success when beating home the Darren Weir-trained duo of Black Heart Bart (2nd) and Tosen Stardom (3rd) in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
That looked to cement the five-year-old’s spot in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) weight-for-age sprint, the Restricted feature running at Royal Randwick on October 14.
Hayes, who heads the powerhouse Lindsay Park stable, said that the team’s yet-to-return Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior wasn’t out of The Everest contention just yet.
The team have ties with The Star who hold a $600,000 spot in The Everest field and no final call had been made as to which of the Lindsay Park horses would fill that in the lucrative event.
“I think Redkirk Warrior’s going very well, who we’ll see in a couple of weeks,” Hayes told Racing Victoria.
Notnowcato gelding Redkirk Warrior may be a seven-year-old but the Hong Kong import remains lightly raced with a record of five wins and two seconds from a dozen career starts.
He is best known for his runaway upset by two lengths as a $31 roughie when defeating Voodoo Lad down the Flemington straight in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the autumn.
A well-beaten 11th followed when stepped up in distance for the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) in Sydney, Redkirk Warrior further hampered by a Heavy (8) track and wide gate 13 draw that day.
The galloper was last seen running two lengths back fifth behind Tivaci at Randwick in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) and has had one trial since.
Hayes has the horse resuming in Melbourne on September 16 in the Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington, the track and distance of his Group 1 triumph earlier in the year.
Vega Magic has also reportedly pulled through his Memsie Stakes triumph in fine order according to Hayes, who was hoping that both he and Redkirk Warrior could find their way into The Everest.
“He’s pulled up really well, ate all his feed,” Hayes said.
“He’s a hulk of a horse. A few people said he looked like Manikato the way he did that [the Memsie Stakes win], and when you think about it, he did a bit.
“He’ll be given a couple of easy weeks now and hopefully we secure an Everest slot and off to Sydney we go.”
Team Hawkes’ champion sprinter Chautauqua leads all-in The Everest betting at $4.80 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Vega Magic firmed right into $5 after the Memsie Stakes results and now occupies the second-line of the futures The Everest odds.
Redkirk Warrior meanwhile can be found a little further down the all-in markets at $13.
Check out the full early The Everest 2017 racing odds online now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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