Trainer John McNair believes the barrier draw has tipped the scales against his star sprinter Hay List ending the unbeaten run of Black Caviar in the Group One BTC Cup at Doomben.
Black Caviar is lining up for her 13th consecutive win and will jump from barrier four in Saturday’s 1200m feature while Hay List drew gate six in the field of eight.
“If we could swap barriers I’d be confident we could beat Black Caviar,” McNair said.
“But that’s going to be hard now as I wanted to draw on her inside.
“Hay List won’t be busting a gut to lead and I’d prefer to take a sit.”
McNair remains confident Hay List, who is meeting Black Caviar for the fourth time, can extract his revenge if the pair meet again in the Group One Doomben 10,000 on May 28.
“Once we step out past 1200 metres that’s when I’ll be more confident of beating her,” McNair said.
Hay List had another track gallop at Gosford on Wednesday ahead of his departure by float for Brisbane on Thursday night.
“He worked well. I got Chris O’Brien to ride him a few weeks ago and he rode him again and he thought Hay List had improved a lot,” McNair said.
“He went terrific in the gallop and ran home the last 400 metres in 21 seconds on a slow track
“Everything is 100 per cent but he had a bit of a blow afterwards which I didn’t like.”
McNair is not concerned he may have been too kind on Hay List since his last start win the Group One All Aged Stakes at Randwick.
“He had a blow but he does it all the time,” he said.
“I wasn’t hard on him as normal but I wasn’t that soft to be worried.
“With a horse like him that weighs 615 kilos I don’t like going outside his comfort zone.
“You need to work him a bit like a stayer.”
Hay List will undergo a precautionary inspection by a Racing Queensland veterinarian after his arrival on Friday following reports the five-year-old threw a scare into his camp after pulling a shoe in trackwork on Monday.
“I’ve spoken to Wade Birch and assured him he’s 100 per cent but he’ll have a vet inspection when he gets there,” McNair said.
McNair believes Hay List is the fittest he’s ever been for his clash with Black Caviar.
“He’s gone on but he has to,” he said.
“It’s not going to be easy trying to beat Black Caviar over 1200 metres but it can be done.
“We’ll need a few things go our way and a few things go against Black Caviar.”
McNair hasn’t ruled out Hay List staying on in Brisbane for the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
“It depends on his weight but I’ve got a suspicion he’ll get 58 kilos,” he said.
“If he wins the BTC Cup I’d be happy to pull up stumps and give him a break.
“You never say never. We originally wanted to give him a break after the TJ Smith but we went on to the All-Aged which he won and now the BTC Cup.”