Group 1 winning sprinter Redkirk Warrior will begin his attack on the $5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 16 in the Group 2 $200,000 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Friday night.
Redkirk Warrior has been the star sprinter of the last two Melbourne Autumn Carnivals with back to back wins in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
The Lindsay Park trained Redkirk Warrior was also the winner of the 2018 Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington but co-trainer David Hayes, who trains in partnership with Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, said that the giant chestnut’s main 2019 Autumn Carnival target will be the inaugural running of the All-Star Mile.
“He trialled very well and he’s going to have a path set towards the All-Star Mile,” Hayes told AAP.
“I reckon we might kick him off in the Australia Stakes.
“I know his trial was good but he’s only had one trial so I reckon that the Australia Stakes will bring him on for the 1400-metre races at Caulfield.
“If you go for the Lightning and the Newmarket, he’s probably going to get too much weight in the Newmarket and you can’t run in the All-Star Mile,” he said.
“But if he was to have a setback or anything we’d divert back to his old tricks, sprinting.
“He was sent to me as a miler.”
The 1400m races at Caulfield that Hayes was pointing towards are the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes on February 9 and the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes a fortnight later.
Redkirk Warrior was prepared for a Royal Ascot campaign in England after winning the 2018 Newmarket Handicap but failed to perform up to his best with a tenth in the Group 1 £600,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs).
Redkirk Warrior then finished down the track again when tenth in the Group 1 £500,000 Darley July Cup (6 furlongs) at Newmarket in England.
The eight year returned to Australia and failed to fire again in his only start during the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival when tenth to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington and was sent for a spell.
Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au have Redkirk Warrior marked at $51 for the All-Star Mile with the James Cummings trained Alizee at $6 and Chris Waller’s future star The Autumn Sun at $8 at the top of the market order.
Early betting for the 2019 All-Star Mile at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Alizee, $8 The Autumn Sun, $11 Grunt, $13 Happy Clapper, Land Of Plenty, $15 Extra Brut, Ringerdingding, Te Akau Shark, $16 Shoals, $18 Night’s Watch, $21 Amphitrite, D’Argento, Hartnell, Le Romain, Mystic Journey, $26 Best Of Days, Brutal, Melody Belle, Shillelagh, Unforgotten, $31 or better the rest.