With the official start of spring fast approaching, some of the Lindsay Park team’s big guns will be out to begin their seasons in style at Caulfield.
Three of the stable’s five Group One winners from last season are scheduled to resume in separate stakes races on Saturday.
The Goodwood winner Vega Magic returns in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) while Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy will resume in the Group Three Quezette Stakes (1100m) unless the track is too wet, in which case the stable would instead look to run Golden Slipper placegetter Tulip.
Caulfield track manager Jason Kerr indicated he anticipated the track to be a soft (5) at worst, which senior trainer David Hayes said had Catchy favoured to take her place.
“Catchy will run if the track is not too bad,” Hayes said.
“And if the track is wet, Tulip will run.
“But I’d expect either of them to run well, whichever one I run.”
Catchy is the $2.50 favourite, with the stable also having talented filly Ploverset in the same race.
He’s Our Rokkii won six of his nine starts during 2016, rising through the grades to become a Group One handicap winner.
He then went winless in four autumn starts which included three Group One weight-for-age races, but Hayes believes he has come back well.
“He just didn’t seem to come up last preparation but he had been in form for 12 months,” he said.
“He has benefited from a good spell.
“I reckon he has trialled well and his work has been good, so I’m hoping for a competitive run.”
Stablemate Tashbeeh could be scratched from the Lawrence.
“He’s got a bit of muck down his throat so I think I’ll save him for another week,” Hayes said.
Former WA galloper Vega Magic won The Goodwood in May in his first start for the stable and Hayes expects a strong return ahead of the $1 million Memsie Stakes (1400m) two weeks later.
“He’s terrific, and the race will bring him on for the Memsie,” Hayes said.
“It will take a good sprinter to beat him.
“He just gives the impression, by his form, that he’s a top-level sprinter.”