Trainer David Hayes is hoping that imported stayer Spillway can improve his rating by winning the 2014 Japan Racing Association Plate at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Spillway arrived in Australia at the end of last year and currently has a rating of 88, after recording 3 wins from ten starts in the United Kingdom, and Hayes is desperate to improve that figure in order to set the Rail Link entire for Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“I think that he is a genuine mile and a half horse,” Hayes told RSN this morning.
“His rating is only 88 and the reason that he is in this race is to hopefully win and get his rating up to 100, so that we can set him for the Caulfield Cup.”
Spillway made his Australian racing debut with an unlucky seventh behind Fat Al in the Listed Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo on March 15, working home strongly late after being blocked for a run at the 400 metre mark, and had little luck again when eighth in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5.
Hayes said that he was satisfied with the performance of Spillway in the Neville Sellwood Stakes, but believes that the four-year-old will produce an improved effort on a drying track in the Japan Racing Association Plate this weekend.
“I think that he has improved a lot,” Hayes said.
“He was a total forgive; he missed the start, raced in the worst part of the track and ran quiet a reasonable race be it back in the field.
“I’d say he would improve out of sight on top of the ground.”
Spillway was prepared by Eve Johnson Houghton in the United Kingdom and made his racing debut at the end of 2012 before recording his first race win in a maiden over 2011 metres at Kempton Park on March 18 last year.
The entire managed to string together two consecutive victories at handicap level and was competitive without winning at Group level; finishing third in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2414m) at Goodwood on July 31, fourth in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (2414m) at York on August 21 and fourth in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup (2217m) at Newbury on September 21.
The 2013 Japan Racing Association Plate was won by Kelinni, who went on to finish ninth behind Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) later in the year.