Trainer John McNair will decide later in the week if his top class sprinter Hay List dodges the Lightning Stakes at Flemington this Saturday in preference for Caulfield the week after.
McNair has Hay List primed for a return to racing in the Group 1 $750,000 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) after the six year old was struck down with a life threatening infection which aborted his Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign last year.
Hay List had to settle for the minor Group 1 limelight behind Black Caviar with a seconds in last year’s $750,000 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington, the $1m T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April and the $400,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben in May.
Then he seemed to have a mortgage on the Group 1 $600,000 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben when trainer Peter Moody decided to pull the pin on Black Caviar’s winter campaign but those dreams ended abruptly when the six year old was struck down with a severe leg infection.
Now with Moody seriously thinking of running his champion mare Black Caviar in the Lightning this Saturday, McNair is looking to put Hay List’s return back a week.
“It came as a surprise to me when Peter Moody said he was thinking of backing her up,” said co-owner Peter Davenport.
“We all had a conference this morning and decided we may have to re-program.
“We have to consider what we’re up against and when Peter Moody decides what he’s doing we’ll decide what we’re doing.
“Hopefully he decides early in the week but he doesn’t have to make up his mind until 7.30 on Saturday morning.
McNair and Davenport said if Hay List didn’t run this week he would kick off his Autumn campaign in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield next week.
“An early decision would be beneficial for us so we could prepare mentally and physically for the wonder from down under as I heard her called.
“It’s put us in a spot. I have every respect for both the trainer and the mare. If he reckons she can back up then Hay List might not run despite the fact he’s ready,” Davenport added.
Jockey Glyn Schofield is also sweating on the decision for Hay List as he has already had to forego the ride on top three year old Manawanui to fellow Sydney rider Tommy Berry for the Group 2 $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm this Saturday.
Schofield has ridden Hay List in the lead up to his return from injury and was certain he was ready to produce his best.
”His trial win at Randwick was good, and I’ve galloped him since,” Schofield said. ”I know John is happy with him, and I’m hoping everything goes good leading up to the race,” Schofield said.