Grand sprinter Hay List will lead the field out on Saturday in the Group 2 $175,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm after being in danger of missing a start due to a nomination mix up.
With only twelve horses accepting for the Challenge Stakes, Hay List was able to secure a run after being number sixteen in ballot order because he was classified as a late entry when nominations were extended.
Trainer John McNair said that he had nominated Hay List via the RISA Stable Assist website but after a stewards’ inquiry at Gosford on Monday is was established the nomination had not been received by RISA thus forcing McNair to make the late nomination.
But with all that drama aside, Hay List will run on Saturday and came up with a great draw at barrier two in the twelve horse field.
McNair has had to nurse Hay List to race fitness after the giant sprinter required knee surgery following a bout of colic which has seen him away from the race track for twelve months.
The injury plagued Hay List scored his third Group 1 win in the 2012 Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10 before running second to Foxwedge in the Group 1 $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23 and hasn’t raced since.
Hay List galloped impressively in between races at Warwick Farm last Saturday with Glyn Schofield up but even though he pulled up with a little bit of heat in his troublesome hoof, McNair is confident the seven year old is on target for his return to the racetrack on Saturday.
“I’m pretty happy with him today,” McNair said on Monday morning.
“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.
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,” Schofield 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.”
Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan will saddle up two good chances in the Challenge Stakes with Mrs Onassis back in Sydney after winning the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23 and three year old Snitzerland.
Snitzerland, who was runner-up to Pierro in last year’s Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 7, had a fantastic Spring with four wins in top company before running fifth in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) then sixth to Mental in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) over Melbourne Cup week at Flemington.
Oaleigh Plate winner Mrs Onassis has come up with barrier four with Kerrin McEvoy to ride while Snitzerland drew gate nine with Corey Brown to renew his association with the filly after being aboard for three of her Spring wins.
The Peter Moody trained Golden Archer has drawn the outside of the field while last year’s Group 1 Galaxy winner Temple Of Boom is resuming and has come up with barrier eight with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Brett Prebble to ride.