Spring stars on show in barrier trials

In a sure sign spring is just around the corner, past and future stars will step out in barrier trials at Randwick on Friday.

The first four of 20 heats are for Group and Listed performers on the course proper with Gai Waterhouse sending her Cups hopefuls out in the 1400m trial which she dominates with seven of the eight runners.

The Queen’s horse Carlton House and last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente will be given another workout after galloping between races at Randwick on Saturday.

They will be joined by Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold, Julienas, Michelangelo, Our Desert Warrior and Western Symbol with the John Thompson-trained Strength the only runner from outside the Waterhouse camp.

Group One winning sprinter Hay List heads 11 runners over 1000 metres with trainer John McNair upbeat about the injury-plagued gelding’s progress.

“He’s great,” McNair said.

“So far so good and the Missile Stakes is where we’re headed.”

The Group Three Missile (1200m) is at Randwick on August 10 with McNair hoping Hay List can go on to contest the rich Melbourne sprints.

Triple Group One winning mare Appearance runs in an 800m trial which also features the return of Metal Bender from a long injury lay-off.

The Chris Waller-trained Metal Bender hasn’t raced since he won the Group One George Ryder Stakes in April last year.

Appearance, winner of the Coolmore Classic-Queen Of The Turf double during the autumn, will have her spring campaign aimed at a defence of the Myer Classic at Flemington.

Cox Plate-bound Norzita runs in another 800m heat on Friday for the new partnership of Bart and James Cummings.

A close third in the Coolmore Classic, Norzita won her second Group One race in the Vinery Stud Stakes before another close third in the Doncaster Mile.