Flemington straight specialist Redkirk Warrior brought the winning run of Redzel to an end with a last to first flashing finish in a thrilling Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) today.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel was sent out as the $1.80 favourite as he was chasing his seventh win on the trot but Redkirk Warrior ($10), with the blinkers on for the first time, was able to grab him in the shadow of the post to record a short head victory.
The Robbie Laing trained Missrock, one of the outsiders of the field at $21, was also doing her best work over the concluding stages.
Redzel looked to have the Black Caviar Lightning in his keeping when Kerrin McEvoy revved him up at the 300m mark but the Lindsay Park trained Redkirk Warrior was too strong under the hard riding from Regan Bayliss.
Bayliss collected his second Group 1 trophy today after partnering Redkirk Warrior to victory in the 2017 Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington twelve months ago and Lindsay Park head trainer David Hayes said that the seven year old will return to Flemington in three weeks to defend his title.
“We will be back here in a few weeks for the Newmarket,” said Hayes who trained in partnership with his son Ben Hayes and nephew Tom Dabernig.
“He will probably carry a bit of a fine for this. I find sprinters can carry weight. He is a big strong horse.”
“He ran down a champion,”
“One of the real special straight track horses he is becoming.”
“I think he would have been unlucky not to have won. He was badly held up at the back of the field.”
“I feel that if he had got out earlier he might have won easier.”
“All his moons seem to come together when the straight races come on.”
Hayes decided to put the blinkers on Redkirk Warrior this preparation after the gelding lost form at the end of his 2017 Spring Carnival campaign.
“He lost his way after winning down the straight here, he went to Sydney and didn’t quite cope. We put them on (the blinkers) in a trial up the straight and gee I thought he was good up the straight the other day.”