Flemington straight track specialist Redkirk Warrior gets his chance to return to winning form back on his home turf in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) on Saturday.
Lindsay Park head trainer David Hayes said that Redkirk Warrior failed to handle the trip to England in the middle of the year when he finished down the track in two appearances.
Redkirk Warrior finished tenth in the Group 1 £600,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 23 and then ended up in the same position in the Group 1 £500,000 Darley July Cup (6 furlongs) at Newmarket on July 14.
“He just doesn’t travel well, when he went overseas he was a shadow of himself and he has raced poorly in Sydney in the past too,” Hayes said.
“I’m pretty confident on Saturday, because out of Lindsay Park he has never run a bad race.
“We are just hoping he will hit form at Flemington like he has every time he has run here.
“He’s not wearing the blinkers, I used them overseas, but I just wanted to change things up a bit.”
Redkirk Warrior is a four times winner down the Flemington straight, three over the same 1200m distance as the VRC Sprint Classic.
The giant chestnut scored back to back wins in the 2017 and 2018 Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival as well as a Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival, all over 1200, as well as claiming the 2018 Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning over 1000m.
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig has decided to take the blinkers off Redkirk Warrior and the eight year old will race with the crossover noseband back on and the winkers on for the first time.
Redkirk Warrior has drawn barrier eleven in the fourteen horse VRC Sprint Classic field with regular rider Regan Bayliss in the saddle again.
Betting for the VRC Sprint Classic has Redkirk Warrior marked at $11 while the dual Everest winner and last year’s Darley Classic (VRC Sprint Classic) winner Redzel is the $4.80 favourite just ahead of Pierata at $5.