Injury-plagued sprinter Hay List moved another step closer to a return to the races with a solid hit out in a barrier trial over 1000 meters at Royal Randwick this morning.
The eight-year-old loomed up and looked the winner in the final stages of the race but was pulled up by jockey Glyn Schofield to finish fifth behind No Looking Back, Fast Clip and Ashokan.
Hay List found a bit of trouble early in the trial, after being checked when caught between runners, but was taken wide by Schofield and finished strongly despite being kept under a heavy hold.
As long as he comes out of this morning’s trial without any problems, Hay List is set to make his anticipated racing return in the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 10.
The three-time Group 1 winner has not appeared at the races since finishing at the tail of the field, behind his great rival Black Caviar, in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) in April.
Trainer John McNair told News Limited, after his star gallopers’ first barrier trial appearance a fortnight ago, that he will take it one start at a time with Hay List this spring and believes the Statue Of Liberty gelding is close to his best form that saw him challenge Black Caviar in the 2011 Lightning Stakes (1000m).
Arguably the most impressive performance in the trial was Ashokan who made up a great deal of ground late to finish third.
The More Than Ready entire failed to live up to heavy expectations during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival but trainer Gai Waterhouse is hopeful he can be competitive at Group 1 level during the spring and has indicated that the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) would be his ultimate target.