Team Hayes turns to its Warrior
DAVID Hayes is hoping to complete a frustrating spring carnival by ending it with a bang on the final day in an assault on the VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) with Redkirk Warrior.
The Lindsay Park stables have been close to the action with three seconds, two thirds and several fourths during Cup Week but haven't tasted success.
Hayes is confident that Redkirk Warrior is ready to win his fourth Group 1 down the Flemington straight.
"Redzel is going to be hard to beat but I think back at Flemington we can give him a big fright," Hayes said.
Hayes said he was concerned with Redkirk Warrior's first jump-out at Flemington, but thought he was back to his best when he led throughout to win a 800m jump-out there eight days ago.
Redkirk Warrior has won four of five starts at Flemington including the last two Newmarket Handicaps and this year's Lightning Stakes.
His only failure at Flemington was in last year's VRC Sprint Classic, but Hayes said the sprinter had probably had enough after failing in The Everest.
Redkirk Warrior flopped in two runs in England but Hayes said he simply didn't travel well.
"All the signs were there that he'd travelled well but he didn't perform. Similar to when we've taken him to Sydney. When he's not at Lindsay Park he doesn't perform," the trainer said.
Redkirk Warrior is $12 on Ladbrokes' fixed odds.
Hayes is also having a throw at the stumps with $31 chance in three-year-old colt Mickey Blue Eyes in the $2 million Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
"He should have finished second or third in the Derby. He didn't get a crack at them," Hayes said.
"He didn't really have a run last week and there's good prizemoney on offer. I think he'll beat more home than will beat him and where that gets him who knows?
"It's not a weight-for-age race with a lot of depth."