McNair Scouts Hong Kong For Hay List

By: Ryan Clark
June 29th, 2011
John McNair

John McNair is hoping to take Hay List overseas

No plans can be set in stone for Australia’s second best racehorse Hay List until he proves he is finally free of a leg infection.

It’s been an ongoing battle which John McNair has thought he had won on a number of occasions so they’re taking no chances despite things once again looking on the up.

Cautiously then McNair has suggested that once everything returns to normal he’ll be looking overseas to boost the horses stature.

He’s currently in Hong Kong where he’s inspecting facilities, the island nation shaping as the likely destination for the horse at the very end of the year.

This all of course is working off the assumption that Hay List makes a rather quick recovery as any extra time off may push even a December start out of the question.

If things do turnaround though Hay List will be stepped up to 1600m with the Hong Kong Mile shaping as the best race.

That’s at the expense of the Hong Kong Sprint over 1200m, a race that may well feature Black Caviar.

“I was keen to come and see the facilities, whenever a trip does become a possibility, and everything looks top class,” McNair said.

“Whether it’s this year or some other time, we will know more in the next week or so.”

It would be a big test for him as he’s never raced over a distance longer than 1400m.

Having said that he’s hit the line strongly in both his 1400m career starts, winning both of them with ease, his most recent at Group 1 level in the All Aged Stakes back in April.

At the same time as McNair was taking in the surroundings there was another Australian passing a keen eye of the facilities as well.

There’s been a few ongoing issues between the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and their south-east Asian counterparts.

At the moment the transit time for horses coming from Hong Kong to Australia is a full two months.

The aim of the visit is to see if they can halve that time and make things easier for international talent to get into the country.

“Hopefully we are now in a position to accomplish our goals as far as getting Black Caviar and other top Australian horses, like Hay List, for December,” HKJC executive director of racing Bill Nader said.

As well as the Singaporean based Rocket Man it’s likely that the two top members of John Moore’s Hong Kong based team could also make the trip down under, Silver Grecian and Mighty High.

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