A clerical error had grand sprinter Hay List omitted from the nomination list for the Group 2 $175,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
But trainer John McNair confirmed that Hay List has been nominated and only injury could prevent him from chasing a second victory in the 1000m weight for age sprint.
“Maybe they are trying to make my mind up for me,” John McNair said.
“There was a mix-up but I have definitely entered him for the Challenge.”
Hay List galloped impressively in between races at Warwick Farm on Saturday with Glyn Schofield up but even though he pulled up with a little bit of heat in his troublesome hoof, McNair is fairly confident that the seven year old will make his long awaited return to the racetrack on Saturday.
“I’m pretty happy with him today,” McNair said.
“It is the same hoof he had an infection in eight weeks ago and I resisted putting a poultice on it because I didn’t want to soften it.
“But it is a lot better.
“Glyn will gallop him on Wednesday morning and we’ll decide after that whether he runs on Saturday.”
Hay List hasn’t started since running second to Foxwedge in the last year’s Group 1 $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in March and had to miss the Winter and the Spring Carnivals because of injury.
A bout of colic and a knee operation has seen the 2012 Newmarket Handicap winner sidelined for almost twelve months but a succession of solid gallops for Schofield has the giant sprinter ready to compete again.
Schofield was more than happy with Hay List’s sizzling gallop over 600 in 33.26s at Warwick Farm on Saturday with the blinkers on.
“Even though John put the blinkers on, he was still pretty casual,” he said.
“It was his most testing work yet and I eased down on him in the last 50 so it was a nice slick time.”
But all hasn’t been plain sailing for McNair with Hay List having to miss some work with a hoof infection ten days ago.
“We are playing catch-up a bit. His fitness levels are not quite where I’d like them,” McNair said.
“Hay List being Hay List, he got a bit of an infection in a hind hoof and we lost about ten days.
“His action looked good and that’s the main thing.”
“He will work at Gosford on Wednesday and all being well he goes to the Challenge Stakes.”
If Hay List gets through Saturday okay, McNair is keen to head to the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 13, a race in which he ran second to the mighty mare Black Caviar two years ago.
As well as Hay List, the Challenge Stakes has attracted a strong field of top line sprinters including the Peter Moody trained Golden Archer, Group 1 winners Temple Of Boom and Mrs Onassis and local short course gallopers Atomic Force and Tiger Tees.