David Hayes has never lacked confidence when putting his best horses up for the ultimate test and it was business as usual on Wednesday when he declared his Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior could earn an Everest slot without even racing.
Hayes intends running the former European and Hong Kong galloper first-up in Saturday’s Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington, but he said on Wednesday such was the seven-year-old’s class he didn’t need to show off his wares from an Everest point of view.
“He’s terrific but if it’s wet he won’t run and instead he’ll run first-up in The Everest,” Hayes said.
Everest slot-holder Star Casino will use their slot for one of Lindsay Park’s best sprinters, either Redkirk Warrior or Memsie Stakes winner Vega Magic, but Hayes said the horse to miss out was likely to pick up a vacant slot well before the October 14 race.
“Vega Magic’s the second favourite and Redkirk Warrior’s a Newmarket winner who has come back in fantastic order and I’m sure he’ll be picked up (as an Everest runner),” he said.
Hayes said both Group 1 winners had been preparing for The Everest as part of their spring campaigns.
“Both he (Redkirk Warrior) and Vega (Magic) have galloped on the Sydney leg and we’ll give ourselves a couple of days after Redkirk pulls up and then make the decision. I will be strongly recommending he runs,” Hayes said.
As for Saturday’s Group 2 race, the head of the Lindsay Park operation had few doubts that Redkirk Warrior would turn some heads.
“He’ll run very well on Saturday and while I haven’t had a good look at the opposition, it’ll take a good one to beat him,” he said.