Grand sprinter Hay List is set to make another comeback to the racetrack at Randwick tomorrow and a triumphant return will be the highlight of John McNair’s training career.
Even if Hay List doesn’t win the Group 3 $125,000 McGrath Real Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) tomorrow, McNair is confident that the eight year old still has another win left in him.
“If and when he wins another race that is going to be my big moment, that’s when I’ll get the biggest thrill I’m likely to experience in this game,” McNair told the Sportsman.
“It will give me the greatest satisfaction and that is including the Newmarket win.”
The 2012 Newmarket Handicap winner has overcome numerous ailments and injuries and it looked like his great career was over when he dropped out to be beaten nineteen lengths when tenth to Black Caviar in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April.
McNair has nursed Hay List back to health again as he has done on many occasions, but will wait until Saturday morning before making a final decision on a start.
McNair said Hay List’s injured knee which kept him away from racing for twelve month was being kept under control and his troublesome feet were always being monitored.
“The decision will come down to whether we think this 1200m race will bring him up to where we want him or whether we should bide our time,” McNair said.
“The knee is 95 – 100% right, the only thing in question now is his feet and we have always had trouble with them.”
“His off front foot gives us some problem and he is going to race with some hoof filler in that foot as per normal. But his work has been good enough to suggest that he can go around.”
Joe Pride’s front running speedster Rain Affair will set a solid tempo and with the prospect of a wet track, looks to have a mortgage on the race.
Rain Affair is undefeated on a slow track with four wins from four starts as well as three wins and a second from four goes on the heavy.
Pride decided to test Rain Affair at Group 1 level over the last fifteen months and while the six year old failed to win one, he was runner-up on four occasions.
Rain Affair has been installed the short priced $1.65 favourite with Hay List sharing the second line of betting with the Paul Messara trained Mic Mac at $6.