The 2016 CS Hayes Stakes field has been released and the Group 3 event is set to be a key lead-up event to the Australian Guineas.
Puritan has not been included in the CS Hayes Stakes acceptances, but the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) is still set to be the key form reference for the CS Hayes Stakes as a number of the field will back up this weekend.
Ready For Victory produced his usual genuine effort in the Manfred Stakes and he will run in the CS Hayes Stakes along with Peter Moody-trained Vostok (fourth), the talented Top Me Up (fifth), Lindsay Park-trained Sovereign Nation (sixth), Australian Guineas contender Palentino (seventh), Mike Moroney-trained Tulsa (eighth), Exford Plate winner Bon Aurum (ninth), Patch Adams (11th) and Vain Stakes winner Gold Symphony (12th).
One horse that will bring a different form line into the CS Hayes Stakes is Gai Waterhouse-trained River Wild, who is one of only two horses that are set to take winning form into the Group 3 event.
River Wild started his autumn campaign with a tiring fourth in the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day, but he returned to winning form in the Top Ideal Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on January 16 before he just held on to take out the More Than Winning Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 30.
The majority of the 2016 CS Hayes Stakes field has had at least one run this preparation, but Pat Hyland-trained Lizard Island is set to return to the races this weekend.
Lizard Island did not have any luck at the start of his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival preparation and he finished second behind Bon Aurum in the Listed Pin And Win Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 12 before he proved far too good for his rivals in a maiden at Pakenham on September 23.
The Sebring colt produced the best performance of his career to date when he chased home Press Statement in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10 and he was tough when second behind Sacred Eye in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 17, but he failed to run out the trip in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 31.
Lizard Island will be restricted to races over a mile this preparation and the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) will be his major autumn target.
The 2015 edition of the CS Hayes Stakes was won by Wandjina and he went on to take out the Australian Guineas a fortnight later.