Hay List gearing up for return
Crack sprinter Hay List is building up for his return to racing but a decision has yet to be made whether that will be in Sydney or Melbourne.
Trainer John McNair said the options being considered were the the Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 5 or the Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington two weeks later.
“It’s still to be decided where he runs first-up,” McNair said.
“The 1200 metres at Rosehill is an easier 1200 metres than Randwick.
“It’s more like an 1100 metre race and the 1000 metres at Flemington is a tough 1000 metres and is also more like an 1100 metre race.
“The owners and I will look at both or he could run in both, nothing has been confirmed yet.”
The Lightning would herald a return clash with unbeaten mare Black Caviar who demoralised Hay List along with several other class sprinters to record her first Group One success in the Patinack Farm Classic on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Hay List notched his first Group One in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 24 and was an easy winner of the Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 3, his first foray on the straight course.
McNair believes Hay List had come to the end of the road mentally in the Patinack Farm but also knows the task he faces against Black Caviar.
Formerly trained in Perth, Hay List was sent to McNair by the Davenport family to be tested against the best in the eastern states.
He ran second in the June Stakes on a slow track before travelling to Brisbane for a five length win in the Group Three Healy Stakes.
He won the McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley before the Manikato and in all has recorded four wins from six starts in McNair’s care and 12 wins from 15 starts overall.
The Expressway will be the starting point for Doncaster winner Rangirangdoo who missed the spring due to a series of niggling injuries.
Trainer Chris Waller opted to give him a spell rather than press on to the Cox Plate believing it was in the horse’s best interests.
“He’s back in work and up to galloping so everything is going well,” Waller said.