Trainer John McNair said that he was thrilled with the first-up effort of champion sprinter Hay List in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Hay List, who was racing for the first time since he suffered an injury in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) in April, missed the start and was never given a crack at the leaders after being trapped on the inside but hit the line well to finish fifth behind Decision Time on a track that made it very difficult for horses coming from the tail of the field to make up ground.
McNair told Sky Racing HQ that Hay List was unlucky on a number of occasions during the run and believes the eight-year-old will be even better the next time he appears at the races.
“I was thrilled,” McNair said on Sky Racing Radio.
“I knew that the run was certainly going to improve him.
“I was concerned once the horse that drew barrier one was scratched and that put us into the inside barrier.
“He has a habit of getting left, when he draws barrier one, and that set us up for the problems that we finished up having.
“He is used to actually getting out and leading but Glyn said before the race with the weight that he had that maybe we should not try to push him to lead.
“We were actually a little bit unlucky – it turned out he lost a shoe on the worst foot that we could have lost it on.”
McNair has been taking it one step at a time with the injury-plagued sprinter this preparation but refused to rule out a trip down South for the 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The Gosford-based trainer said that co-owner Terry Davenport will play a key role in deciding which races the Statue Of Liberty gelding will contest, with the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 21, the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 5 and the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 all on the agenda.
“They are keen to run in The Shorts in two weeks now if that is possible and we will look at other options after that run,” McNair said.
“The Gilgai has been mentioned in conversations as has the Manikato.
“It is good for racing and if he does make it down to Melbourne – he is probably more loved down there than he is up here.”
Hay List won both the Manikato Stakes and Gilgai Stakes during the 2010 Spring Racing Carnival.