Trainer John McNair gives his grand sprinter Hay List a great chance of returning to the winner’s stall in the Group 3 $125,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
McNair was happy with Hay List’s gallop on Tuesday morning with regular rider Glyn Schofield in the saddle and even though he said the eight year old is fully wound up, he expects to figure prominently in the finish.
“It was OK without being brilliant,” McNair told The Daily Telegraph.
“He (Schofield) said Hay List was probably 80 per cent fitness-wise, but his work is good enough to suggest he’ll be hard to beat.
“We can’t afford to start him off unless he’s ready to win, otherwise you get all these morons coming out and saying (‘retire him’).
“We have an eight-year-old who has taken a bit longer than expected to come up, but Glyn told me it was good work today, so that’s good enough for me.”
The injury prone gelding has won a Gosford barrier trial since being scratched from the Group 3 $125,000 McGrath Real Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 10 and will make a belated Spring Carnival appearance.
Schofield anticipates that the three times Group 1 winner will benefit greatly from Saturday’s run following his solid hit out during the week.
“I wasn’t disappointed today. Obviously he’s still got a little way to go to be in tip-top shape, but he’s on the right track,” Schofield said.
Hay List, who has to carry 60.5kg under the set weights and penalties scale, has drawn two in a field of ten which includes Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner Mrs Onassis (barrier ten) who is coming off a Rosehill barrier trial win.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Whittington, who drew midfield at six, has been cleared to start after his fourth at the Warwick Farm barrier trials on August 30.
Stewards ordered Whittington to barrier trial following his late scratching from the Group 3 $125,000 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 17 when he reared up and got his front legs caught up in the barriers.