Lindsay Park’s head trainer David Hayes is hoping to secure a slot in the 2018 The Everest with Vega Magic who could wear the blinkers when he resumes for the 2018 Spring Carnival in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28.
Vega Magic was too slick for his rivals with the blinkers on in a jump out at Flemington this morning and Hayes got the thumbs up from champion jockey Damien Oliver who was on board.
“We are experimenting with some blinkers and they seemed to suit him well so he may, in the Bletchingly, step out in blinkers,” Hayes told racing.com.
“I think he ran the fastest time of the morning clearly on my clock anyway.”
“He’s back to weight-for-age and back to Caulfield where he is undefeated and I think he’ll put his hand up for the Everest.
“I think he already has today, but he’ll confirm it on the 28th.
“He looks like he’s in the same form as this time last year. I think he’s right back to his best form and he’ll confirm that next week.”
Vega Magic ran second to Redzel in the inaugural running of The Everest at Randwick during the 2017 Sydney Spring Carnival and Hayes is confident that the big chestnut will be picked up by one of the remaining three slot holders for the $13 million weight for age sprint over 1200m at Randwick on October 13.
“If he races well, like I think he will, you’d be mad not to take him,” Hayes said of the slot-holders.
“He was unlucky last year and arguable is one of the best sprinters in Australia and I think certainly he’s the best sprinter that hasn’t been taken.
“You’ve got to remember, with The Everest, it’s still 10 weeks to go. A lot of people have slots but there will be injuries and setbacks and out of form horses and they will want in-form horses.
“So, I’m hoping that even if the slots are taken and he’s not one of them, by race day, he’ll be there.”
Vega Magic has been unplaced from three starts since his second in the 2017 The Everest but Hayes can see the rising six year old almost back to his best.
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig took Vega Magic back to Melbourne after The Everest but he failed to fire when fifth to Hey Doc in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on October 27 and then he never threatened when seventh to Redzel in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the last day of the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Vega Magic was then sent for a spell before having one run during the 2018 Autumn Carnival for an eighth in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 19 and was then sent back to the paddock.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au has Vega Magic marked at $16 while the Gerald Ryan trained Trapeze Artist is the $4.50 favourite just ahead of Redzel at $6.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Trapeze Artist, $6 Redzel, $9 U S Navy Flag, $10 In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane, $12 Kementari, Menari, $14 Shoals, $16 Vega Magic, Nature Strip, $18 English, Brave Smash, Chautauqua, $21 Winx, $26 Blue Point, Harry Angel, Menari, Redkirk Warrior, $31 Equilateral, Happy Clapper, Prized Icon, $34 Alizee, Estijaab, Le Romain, Viddora, $41 Hot King Prawn, Invincible Star, $51 or better the rest.