Hulking sprinter Hay List added another chapter to his fairytale rise to superstar status with a ground shaking win in the Group Two VRC Gilgai Stakes up the straight at Flemington on Sunday.
Despite the appearance of not getting out of second gear, Hay List stopped the clock at a sizzling 1:08.20 for the 1200 metres on a dead track that was far from conducive to producing record times.
The five-year-old’s trainer John McNair asked RVL vets to examine the horse on arrival at Flemington before Hay List took his place in the $250,000 race.
McNair told stewards Hay List landed a double-barrel kick on a car while at a beach near Geelong, which the trainer said added to his nerved before the gelding’s Flemington straight track debut.
“I’ve never worried like this about other horses,” McNair said. “I have never been a nervous person but with this horse, it’s just constant.
“He took fright at something and he lashed out and kicked a car. He’s done a fair bit of damage to the car but fortunately none to himself. With this horse you just worry all the time.”
Hay List quickly showed he had taken no harm from the incident, showing his customary acceleration to race on the speed before casually lengthening the gap between himself and his rivals until jockey Glyn Schofield eased the sprinter right down 25 metres from the line.
“The only problem is, the ride doesn’t go long enough,” Hay List’s jockey Glyn Schofield said. “You just want to enjoy it as long as you can.
“He’s phenomenal. It never felt like I was out of third gear or fourth gear at any stage of the race but once I asked him to kick he found a bit extra to get away from Catapulted and it was race over.”
A homebred for the Davenport family, Hay List has won 12 of 14 starts earning $956,125 and is one of 11 stakes-winners worldwide for his sire STATUE OF LIBERTY (USA), who stands at Eliza Park this spring.
Hay List is the first stakes-winner for his dam Sing Hallelujah, a metropolitan winning daughter of Is It True (USA), whose immediate family is barren of Black Type, although if you go back far enough to the fifth dam you do come to a very smart producer in Crimson Spray, whose descendants include the likes of Group One winners Paint, Akhenaton and Mr Bureaucrat.
Sing Hallelujah was covered again by Statue of Liberty last spring and delivered a full brother to Hay List on August 28.
A son of champion sire Storm Cat, Statue of Liberty (pictured) was originally brought to Australia by Blue Gum Farm for three seasons 2004, 2005, 2006 before missing in 2007 when EI struck.
He returned to Victoria in 2009 following an absence of two years, interest in him rekindled through the deeds of brilliant galloper Mic Mac and smart fillies Dan Baroness, Elysees and Broadway Harmony.
He covered 156 mares last spring at a fee of $17,600 and is at the same fee this year.