Redkirk Warrior is poised to showcase his credentials for the $10 million Everest when he runs at Flemington.
But co-trainer David Hayes is also keeping watch on the weather as he prepares the Newmarket Handicap winner for his spring return in the Bobbie Lewis Quality on Saturday at Flemington, reluctant to run him if the track becomes too rain-affected.
Redkirk Warrior is favourite to win the Group Two Bobbie Lewis over the 1200m straight course where he won the Group One Newmarket first-up from a spell in March.
“We’re pretty confident,” Hayes said.
“He’s in the same class as Vega Magic, I think.
“He’s a real Group One sprinter, resuming.
“If the track gets a real downpour and downgrades, we’d probably save him and run him first-up in The Everest.
“But if it stays as it is, he’ll run and be very competitive.”
Flemington was rated in the good range on Friday.
Redkirk Warrior defied history when he became the first horse in 100 years to win the Newmarket first-up from a spell, and Hayes has been delighted with his preparation into his spring return, which has included a jump-out and a barrier trial.
“I think he’s in similar form to leading into the Newmarket,” he said.
The Lindsay Park stable already has one confirmed slot in next month’s The Everest (1200m) at Randwick through Sydney casino The Star.
Dual Group One winner Vega Magic and Redkirk Warrior are the leading contenders to fill that spot.
“Star Casino have got first choice in the stable and they’re going to make their decision on Monday or Tuesday,” Hayes said.
“And it wouldn’t be an easy decision as far as I’m concerned.
“I wouldn’t know which way to go.”
Hayes is looking to have more than one runner in the rich Sydney race on October 14 with a number of slot holders yet to declare their representatives.
Redkirk Warrior is listed as a $15 chance in Everest betting while Vega Magic shares the second line at $6.
“Generally the rule will be if you’ve got a horse who if it runs is 15/1 (or shorter), someone would want it,” Hayes said.