The Lindsay Park trained Redkirk Warrior has missed out on a slot for $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October and will be set for a 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign.
An unsuccessful English campaign will see Redkirk Warrior return to Australia after a spell in England and be set for the Melbourne Spring Carnival sprints which will include the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on November 10, day one of the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Redkirk Warrior was well beaten in his two English appearance when tenth to Merchant Navy in the Group 1 £600,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 23 followed by a tenth to U S Navy Flag in the Group 1 £500,000 Darley July Cup (6 furlongs) at Newmarket on July 14.
“Clearly he was disappointing, but he’s just drawn the wrong part of the track both times,” Hayes, who trains in partnership with his son Ben and Tom Dabernig, told racing.com.
“I think he would have finished maybe fourth or fifth if he was on the other side. It certainly didn’t cost him the race.
“We’ll just bring him home and set him for the Darley.”
Redkirk Warrior is a Flemington straight course specialist with four wins there, three over the same course and distance as the Darley Classic with two of those at Group 1 level and Lindsay Park head trainer David Hayes said the big chestnut would target the sprints in Melbourne over the Spring.
The rising eight year old won the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and the returned to Flemington almost twelve months later to win the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning over 1000m then made it back to back wins in the Newmarket Handicap three weeks later.
“The racing’s so great in Australia and Flemington put on a lot of good sprints. He goes (well) at the Valley and he goes (well) at Sandown, so there’s enough good racing in Melbourne for him,” Hayes said.
“We’ll make him just a Melbourne specialist horse. He’s got an extremely good record in Melbourne.”
Early betting for the 2018 Darley Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au has Redkirk Warrior marked at $16 while the Team Snowden trained Redzel, last year’s winner, heads the market order at $8.
On the second line of betting at $10 are Trapeze Artist and In Her Tine, ahead of Brave Smash, Deploy, English, Kementari, Nature Strip and Vega Magic, all at $12.