John McNair is focusing his attention to the likes of My Vegas and Royal Discretion in the absence of stable star Hay List, with the two stablemates both set to contest the Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford this Friday.
My Vegas placed third in the same event last year and McNair is hoping the horse can snare the win this time around.
While McNair is happy with My Vegas’s form, he is not confident that he can beat Gai Waterhouse’s Squamosa.
“He is similar to the way he was before last year’s race if not better,” McNair said of My Vegas.
“But I wish Squamosa wasn’t there, I think we are all running for second.
“He is a well above average horse.”
Five-year-old Royal Discretion will also compete in this Friday’s race, but McNair feels he has been unfairly weighted once again.
“He is a horse who has been rated on what he did two years ago,” McNair said.
“He is a lovely horse and once he gets down in the weights he should be able to get back to winning form.”
The trainer is hopeful that dry conditions will prevail for the race, despite the fact that wet weather is expected to fall.
“The track was just on the worse side of dead but could improve,” McNair said after taking the two horses for a track gallop yesterday morning.
“I would really like to see Royal Discretion on top of the ground.”
While he attempts to get his other horses back in the winner’s circle, McNair is constantly caring for Hay List, whose leg injury continues to linger dangerously.
McNair is hopeful that the champion sprinter is finally getting better.
“He is picking up and the swelling has gone down,” he said.
“We have been bandaging the leg at night and that seems to be controlling things.”
Hay List is already set to miss half, if not all of the upcoming Melbourne spring racing carnival due to his injury.