Veteran sprinter Hay List is set to race on despite producing a disappointing performance in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Hay List was ridden close to the lead in The Shorts and loomed up as a winning chance when the field entered the final straight but faded quickly and beat home just a single runner.
A number of racing experts have called for the triple Group 1 winner to be retired, ever since he suffered another injury when he finished tenth in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival, but McNair has remained adamant that the eight-year-old was close to his best form and said yesterday that he didn’t want to retire the gelding because of one poor run.
“He must have choked down on something, and at the 900m you see him throw his head in the air, so that’s probably when it happened,” McNair told News Limited.
“The horse seems to have recovered exceptionally well from the run, so we’ll just play it by ear.
“Most of the family believe it wouldn’t be right to pull his career based on one run, especially when his first-up run was so good.”
Hay List could be back at the races as soon as next Saturday (October 5th), with McNair indicating that the Group 2 Premier Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick and the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington were both on the agenda.
The Statue Of Liberty gelding will be looking to record his first race win since his famous victory carrying 58.5kg in the 2012 Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
He followed his Newmarket triumph up with a second place finish behind Foxwedge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley but suffered an injury that kept him away from the races for just under a year.
Since returning from injury he has failed to return to top form; finishing fourth in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m), 10th in the T.J. Smith Stakes and fifth in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) before his poor run last weekend.