McNair Forced To Back Down In Hay List’s Newmarket Handicap Saga

By: Sarah Fortnum
February 29th, 2012

Just 24 hours after trainer John McNair swore he would do everything to keep Hay List away from the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap next month, managing owner Terry Davenport has insisted he will run in the race.

McNair was appalled at the handicapper’s decision to allocate Hay List with a top weight of 58.5 kilograms, and openly vowed to ensure his horse was kept away from the race.

The trainer even went as far as to say he would try and keep Hay List out of Melbourne all together.

In a move that is sure to leave McNair red faced, Davenport has told the public today that Hay List would most definitely run in the Newmarket Handicap.

“It remains very much a key target in the program,” Davenport said.

“If we were to miss the Newmarket, it would have thrown the program out of rhythm a little bit.”

Davenport said Hay List has been aimed at the Newmarket for a long period of time, and to risk ruining his entire program would not be in the horse’s best interests.

“The Newmarket was always a focal point and he’s been training him to race in that race and give it a fair shake,” he said.

“It hasn’t been a last-minute or a rash decision, but when you’ve got a good horse you’ve got to be wary of all the angles.”

Hay List will also be able to compete in the race without the presence of Black Caviar, who has always remained the only rival he could not overcome.

The six-year-old gelding has won 14 of his 21 race starts, with six of his seven losses coming when finishing behind the super mare.

Hay List will be second-up in the $1 million Newmarket Handicap after finishing second by less than two lengths to Black Caviar in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes earlier this month.


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