STATUE OF LIBERTY) could be the next Australian star on the international stage with Hong Kong and Royal Ascot on the radar following his spring engagements in Melbourne.
Hay List resumes in tomorrow’s Group Three McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley following his sensational five-length victory in the Group Three Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm in June.
The Healy Stakes was the former Perth sprinter’s ninth win from 11 starts.
Trainer John McNair’s star has already been sounded out as a possible invitee for the Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December but no decision will be made until after the five-year-old completes a four-race assignment in Melbourne.
“I’ve had him inoculated already just in case he’s invited to go to Hong Kong,” McNair said.
“The problem about going to Hong Kong is the quarantine restrictions coming back to Australia.
“If the option comes up to go to Hong Kong we’ll seriously consider it but it’s up to the owners who all live in Perth.”
McNair also has the option of heading back to Perth with Hay List for the Group Two Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in November.
“The Winterbottom Stakes has just had a stakes increase and is worth $750,000 now,” he said.
“It would be either the Winterbottom Stakes or Hong Kong but the worry about going back to Perth could be hard tracks while Hong Kong has a better surface and is up the straight.
“We’ll see how he handles the straight six at Flemington in the Patinack Farm first.”
McNair knows Hay List has a long way to go emulate Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, Scenic Blast and former Australian galloper Starspangledbanner on the international stage but is keen to give him his chance against the world’s best sprinters at Royal Ascot next year.
“England is part of the Global Sprint Challenge and it’s definitely on our radar,” McNair said.
Chris Munce declared he would travel anywhere to maintain his association with Hay List after winning the Healy Stakes on the gelding.
However, McNair has remained loyal to Sydney jockey Glyn Schofield who will be reunited with Hay List in Melbourne.
“The decision to go with Glyn was made before Chris won on him in the Healy,” McNair said.
“It’s unfortunate for Chris but he’s still a chance of getting back on him if Glyn is injured or suspended.
“The horse is going terrific at the moment and we’re looking at four races in Melbourne with him.”
The remaining three races mapped out for Hay List comprise the Group One Manikato Stakes under lights at Moonee Valley on September 24, Group Two Caulfield Sprint (1100m) on October 9 and the Group One Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 6.
“He’s won eight of his nine races in Perth but I still believe he’s a better horse racing right-handed,” McNair said.
“If for some reason he doesn’t fire in the McEwen Stakes there’s a chance he may go back to Sydney for The Shorts.
“If that’s the case his ultimate goal would be in the TJ Smith in Sydney in the autumn.”
- Racing and Sports