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In a shock Black Caviar Lightning Stakes 2018 result the returning The Everest champion Redzel was run down late by Lindsay Park’s Flemington first-up specialist Redkirk Warrior.
Hall Of Fame trainer David Hayes was always confident heading fresh into the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) with the Hong Kong expat despite the presence of odds-on favourite Redzel.
“I tipped him to anyone who cares!” Hayes said post-victory.
Shooting for a seventh win on the trot first-up and looking to surpass the $8 million mark in prize money, Redzel was the only horse the punters wanted in the weight-for-age feature at Headquarters.
It was Notnowcato seven-year-old Redkirk Warrior at a double-figure quote however who came away victorious after flashing home late down the outside to reel off some very impressive sectionals.
“Amazing. He ran down a champion and one of the real special straight track horses he’s becoming,” Hayes said.
The horse made history last Melbourne Festival of Racing becoming the first runner in 100 years to salute in the Group 1 $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up.
Showing a real affinity for the famous straight track, Redkirk Warrior also resumed at the course last preparation to win the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) by two and a half lengths.
“He seems to really like it [the straight track],” Hayes added.
“All his moons seem to have come together when the straight races came on.”
Things went amiss for Redkirk Warrior later in the spring when he ran 10th to Redzel in Sydney’s The Everest (1200m) before being flogged by seven lengths by the same horse in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
In a master stroke by Hayes, Redkirk Warrior was back to his flying best in the Black Caviar Lightning with the blinkers back on and jockey Regan Bayliss continuing his successful association with the super sprinter.
“How bloody good’s this?” Bayliss said.
“What an amazing horse this horse has been to me.
“They’re freak trainers and they just know how to get this boy on song.
“1000m, blinkers off, sit off that good speed and motor home, what a fantastic result.
“He’s a brilliant fresh horse.
“Just unbelievable, terrific.”
The upset win handed Hayes with a second Lightning Stakes trophy after his victory eight years ago with Nicconi (2010).
It was the speedy Super Too up the middle of the straight leading the Black Caviar Lightning field around as Ball Of Muscle and Hey Doc challenged for the lead.
Bayliss meanwhile had Redzel positioned just on their outside in fourth, while Redkirk Warrior was right toward the back of the field early.
With 300m left to travel Super Too was quickly put under pressure, Redzel cruising up and then hitting the front at the 150m mark.
The punters thought they had it in the bag before out of nowhere Redkirk Warrior charged home late to nail Redzel right on the line by a short-head in 56.33 seconds, which was just .9 of a second outside of Black Caviar’s track record.
“I think he would’ve been unlucky not to have won, he was badly held up at the back of the field,” Hayes added.
Rounding out the Black Caviar Lightning trifecta a further length and a half back in third was the Robbie Laing-trained mare Missrock ($21).
Redkirk Warrior now heads towards a title defence in the Newmarket Handicap 2018 on ‘Super Saturday’, March 10.
“We’ll be back here in a few weeks in the Newmarket,” Hayes confirmed.
“He’ll probably carry a bit of a [weight] fine for this but I find sprinters can carry weight and he’s a big strong horse.
“We just need to keep him happy and keep him fresh.”
Updated futures Newmarket Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Redkirk Warrior at $9 for the win with markets led by the spring’s Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Merchant Navy ($5) and Redzel ($6.50).
To get behind Redkirk Warrior next race in the Newmarket Handicap at the right price visit our preferred sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au.
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 8 – 17/02/2018
|1||4||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||–||7||58.5kg|
|2||1||REDZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.1L||9||58.5kg|
|3||8||MISSROCK||Robbie Laing||Damien Oliver||1.35L||6||56.5kg|
|4||7||SUPIDO||Michael Kent||Beau Mertens||1.55L||10||58.5kg|
|5||5||ROCK MAGIC||Chris Gangemi||Michael Dee||1.75L||1||58.5kg|
|6||6||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Craig Williams||3.75L||2||58.5kg|
|7||3||HEY DOC||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||5.75L||3||58.5kg|
|8||2||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Mark Zahra||5.85L||4||58.5kg|
|9||9||SUPER TOO||Marc Conners||Stephen Baster||5.95L||5||56.5kg|
|10||10||FORMALITY||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||11.95L||8||53.5kg|
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