David Hayes is looking for his stable’s elite sprinters Vega Magic and Redkirk Warrior to bounce back to their best after last-start disappointments in what shapes as one of the races of the Melbourne spring carnival.
Redkirk Warrior and Vega Magic will both line up in Saturday’s star-studded Darley Classic at Flemington.
Vega Magic will be having his first attempt over the straight 1200m-course while Redkirk Warrior boasts an unbeaten record at the track and distance with dominant wins in this year’s Group One Newmarket Handicap and Group Two Bobbie Lewis Quality.
Vega Magic won his first three starts eastern, including two Group One races, after being transferred to the Lindsay Park team from Western Australia this year.
He then finished a game second to Redzel in the 0 at Randwick after a tough run.
The gelding finished fifth as a short-priced favourite in the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago at Moonee Valley.
Redkirk Warrior went to Sydney for the Everest after his first-up win in the Bobbie Lewis and finished 10th, 4-1/4 lengths behind Redzel who is the Darley Classic favourite.
“Redkirk Warrior is coming off a below-par run but he’s back to his favourite track and his trackwork has been excellent,” Hayes said.
“I think he’ll run well.
“He’s better at Flemington than he is in Sydney.
“Vega Magic ran his only below-par race for the stable last start and there were a few excuses too. He missed the start and got hammered and he might not have liked the Valley.
“You’d think he would be a beautiful straight horse. But there’s a query that he didn’t come back from Sydney.
“His trackwork suggests he’s fine.”
Vega Magic became unbalanced when tightened for room by eventual winner Hey Doc at the 900m in the Manikato and Hayes said the gelding was also galloped on behind but had trained on well.
Vega Magic is at $5.50 behind Redzel ($4.60) while Redkirk Warrior is at $8.50.
“They’re just two Group One sprinters who are healthy and well,” Hayes said.