Injury-plagued sprinter Hay List impressed jockey Glyn Schofield with his comfortable victory in a barrier trial over 1000 metres at Gosford this morning.
Hay List jumped from the gates well to take up the running in the early stages of the trial and remained in that position despite being eased up by Schofield in the final 100 metres.
The eight-year-old had looked far from impressive in two previous barrier trial performances at Randwick earlier this preparation but Schofield believes there was plenty to like about the gelding’s effort today.
“It was all encouraging signs this morning,” Schofield told TVN.
“Today was a step in the right direction whereas before he was going sideways than forwards.
“He had a huge blow after, there’s still a way to go.”
Trainer John McNair has been critical of members of the racing media who have questioned his decision to bring Hay List for another campaign, due to the veteran geldings’ injury history, and Schofield backed up the Gosford-based trainer by denying claims that the horse was unsound.
“He’s starting to put a bit of muscle back on that he was lacking last preparation,” Schofield said.
“Contrary to what most people think he’s not unsound at all, he’s just lacking in other areas at the moment.
“It’s just a matter of getting him back to peak condition.”
Hay List was originally set to make his return to racing in the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 10 but McNair scratched him on the morning of the race due to concerns about how he would handle a heavy track.
McNair is hopeful that he can get the Statue Of Liberty gelding ready for the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 7 and is eyeing the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27 if Hay List is able to return to his best form.
Hay List has an excellent record at Moonee Valley, recording wins in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 McEwen Stakes (1000m) as well as a placing in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) in his three career starts at the track.