Jockey Glyn Schofield is counting on rapid improvement from Hay List’s last-start win as the hulking sprinter attempts to end wonder mare Black Caviar’s winning streak at Randwick on Saturday.
Hay List has been no match for Black Caviar in their two previous meetings, in last year’s Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) and the Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) earlier this year when the John McNair-trained sprinter came in a well-beaten second.
Hay List was scratched from another meeting with Black Caviar in the Newmarket Handicap due to soreness in his off-side shoulder and had his first start since the Lightning when he scored a narrow win in the Group Two Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm almost two weeks ago.
He enters Saturday’s Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) with much less fanfare than he has at his past two meetings with Black Caviar.
The five-year-old is the $14 second favourite behind $1.18 favourite Black Caviar, and also heads TAB Sportsbet’s “Black Caviar out” market at $4.40 just ahead of Shoot Out and Crystal Lily.
“He’s got a win behind his name again which is a good confidence boost for him,” Schofield said.
“It wasn’t the greatest bit of confidence with the way he won (the Challenge Stakes), it was a bit of a scramble I must admit, but at least he won.
“I gave him a bit of a workout on Monday and he definitely feels like he has improved from that run fitness-wise.
“It’s nice for him to be putting two runs together because with a stop-start preparation you’re always behind the eight ball.
“He’s had a run and then two weeks into his second run and we know by his form that his second run is always better than his first.”
Black Caviar arrived in Sydney around 4am on Friday on a float along with her Peter Moody-trained stablemates which include AJC Australian Derby hopeful Anacheeva.
The mare will be out to extend her unbeaten sequence to 12 at her first start outside Victoria and her first start racing the Sydney way of going.
“We know how good she is now and it’s not an easy task to beat her but I’ve said that the longer they go unbeaten the more chance there is of them getting beaten,” Schofield said.
“And when that time comes I’m hoping it’s us that can beat her.”