Senior Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes leaves for Royal Ascot confident Redkirk Warrior is in peak condition.
The gelding won an 800m-barrier trial at Werribee on Monday in which he streeted his five rivals under Regan Bayliss.
Hayes was delighted with the way Redkirk Warrior quickened turning for home and took heart from the first-up win of Merchant Navy in Ireland on Saturday.
“It goes to show that the Aussie sprinters are right up there again,” Hayes said.
“I’ve got great respect for Merchant Navy and it’s nice that we beat him last start and meet him quite a lot better at the weights.”
If the weather forecast looks bad the stable may elect to run in the King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) on the opening day, June 19.
The winner of the Lightning Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington during the autumn, Redkirk Warrior again wore blinkers in Monday’s trial.
Hayes said he left the blinkers on to give Redkirk Warrior added experience jumping from the barriers.
“I left them on for this trial because he missed the start in the Lightning,” Hayes said.
“He jumped well and he won’t have the blinkers on again until he races.”
Redkirk Warrior is due to fly to England on June 6 and Hayes said Monday’s trial was his final hit-out before he departs, although he may stretch his legs at Flemington next Monday.
Bayliss, who rode Redkirk Warrior to success in the Lightning and Newmarket, has been replaced by Frankie Dettori at Royal Ascot and said he had nor seen the gelding in better condition.
“I’ve never seen his coat look any better and he was really in the zone,” Bayliss said.
“He had his ears pricked the whole way and was enjoying his trial.
“I gave him a click-up and he quickened up over the final furlong-and-a-half (300m) and stretched out really well.
“He’s pulled up terrific and I wish the connections all the best for Ascot.”
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