A change in tactics for Never Say Nay has given the lightly raced gelding a shot at a winning hat-trick when he lines up at Ballarat on Saturday.
After wins at Ballarat and Sale, Never Say Nay contests the Magic Millions Ballarat 3YO & 4YO Classic.
The Ben and JD Hayes-trained three-year-old will be having his sixth start on Saturday and the stable is confident he can stretch out to 1100m after landing the prize over 1000m at his past two starts.
But Ben Hayes did note the strength of Saturday’s race saying after wins in maiden grade and at Benchmark 64 level it was worth taking the gamble, especially with the prize money on board.
Saturday’s race carries $150,000 in prize money, $20,000 more than normal metropolitan race.
“It’s a very, very strong race, but it is really good prize money,” Hayes told RSN.
“He’s in form and he won impressively at the track two starts back and I think by accident we worked out the key with him, riding him nice and quiet because he has a really nice turn of foot.
“I think we’ll do that from the inside draw again, but when you draw inside, we’ll need some luck.”
Prior to his Ballarat win two starts back, Never Say Nay had been ridden up on the speed, finishing third over 1175m at Albury and second over 1200m at Cranbourne.
While some may question Never Say Nay’s stamina, Hayes is certain the gelding will run out a strong 1100m on Saturday.
“Last start he looked like he was going to win by three or four lengths, and I personally feel that he thought he had done the job and switched off,” Hayes said.
“He is a very lazy horse at trackwork.
“I don’t think the 1100 metres will be a problem as he was narrowly beaten over 1200 metres early on in the prep.”
In a tough finish to the day, Never Say Nay is an $18 chance in betting with TAB with the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Marine One heading the market at $3.90.