The Lindsay Park stable has a third of the field in the Group One Newmarket Handicap at Flemington and senior trainer David Hayes runs the rule over the team’s five contenders, headed by defending champion Redkirk Warrior.
* REDKIRK WARRIOR: “He has performed second-up before and I just think he has gone to another level in the blinkers. He ran down a champion sprinter in good form in the Lightning, so I think that’s a great pointer to the race on the weekend. It’s never easy to give them weight but if ever there’s a horse that deserves it, he probably does now. He’s a dual Group One winner and a Group Two winner up the straight. He’s just a highly talented horse, so I think he’ll carry it.”
* THRONUM “He’s a current weight-for-age winner. He’s beaten Brave Smash and gone very close last start at Group One level at weight-for-age. He’s much better at the handicap conditions. He trialled well up the straight without the blinkers and gets his blinkers on. He’s going to be there for a long time.”
* FASTNET TEMPEST: “Terry Henderson from OTI gave us this horse. He’s a really talented horse and he (Henderson) asked if I could set him for the Newmarket first-up, which we’ve done. He’s had the benefit of a couple of trials. We’ve tinkered with his gear and put visors on him. He went very straight up the straight (in a trial) and finished powerfully with So Si Bon and Thronum and he trialled well enough to say ‘let’s have a go’. Like So Si Bon, I think he’ll run well but I don’t really know. I’m hoping. But I’m sure there’s a good win in this horse somewhere.”
* SO SI BON: “He has settled in well and his attitude has been terrific. He got a little bit colty at the Cranbourne trials but his Flemington trial up the straight convinced us that he was worth running. He’ll run well and I’m sure there’s good wins just around the corner with him. He’s a horse we all know has a lot of talent and he arrived to us in great order and has gone on with it.”
* CATCHY: “She could be the forgotten horse. This time last year she was the superstar of Victoria. She’s come back at three and been placed in the Caulfield Guineas and won the Danehill Stakes which is outstanding form. Her last two runs don’t read like she ran well, but she actually did. Look for her to really run well.”