Imported stayer Jet Away will make his long-awaited return to racing in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Jet Away was set to being his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last month but was scratched by his Irish owner Douglas Taylor and missed the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) after being found with mucus in his throat.
Trainer David Hayes admits that it has not been the ideal preparation for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) but told TVN that he is happy Jet Away’s fitness levels heading into the Turnbull Stakes this weekend.
“Yes, he’s a horse who is going into a Caulfield Cup off a most unusual preparation, but I can tell you he’s done a lot of work and he’s a very good horse,” Hayes said.
“I’m sure he’ll be improved by the run tomorrow, but it’s not as if he’s going into the race unfit.
“From barrier three he should get a lovely run and as long as he is strong through the line we will be going to the Caulfield Cup.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing him debut.
“He is a lazy track worker and he races better than he works.”
Jet Away has recorded two wins from two race starts in Australia, winning the Yalumba Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo in March and the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing but will need to be at his best to maintain his unbeaten record this Saturday.
The 2013 Turnbull Stakes field is full of Group 1 winners but Hayes believes that Fiorente and Puissance De Lune, who are both yet to win at the highest level of racing, are the horses to beat.
“Fiorente is the horse I fear the most,” Hayes said.
“I’m sure he’ll be better at 2000 metres than a mile and he just looks a good horse to my eye.
“I also think the grey horse (Puissance De Lune) will be hard to beat as well.”
Hayes is chasing his first win in the Turnbull Stakes for over twenty years after winning the 1990 edition of the race with Better Loosen Up.