Racing: Rawnaq faces stern task

Trainer confident promising colt can match older opponents in Zipping Classic.

Rawnaq (No 15) finishes an unlucky third to Fiveandahalfstar in the Victoria Derby. He could make amends at Sandown on Saturday. Photo / Getty Images
Rawnaq (No 15) finishes an unlucky third to Fiveandahalfstar in the Victoria Derby. He could make amends at Sandown on Saturday. Photo / Getty Images

For most 3-year-olds, a run in the Victoria Derby is a gruelling one that leads to a spell.

But trainer David Hayes has always had Saturday's 2400m Zipping Classic at Sandown in mind for Rawnaq.

"It's not an afterthought. I always planned to run him in the Zipping Classic if he either won or was placed in the Derby," Hayes told the Herald Sun. Although Rawnaq started at $101, he booked himself a spot in the Zipping Classic with an unlucky third at Flemington on November 3.

Hayes said Rawnaq had suffered interference in the straight, leading to rival jockey Nash Rawiller being suspended for 10 meetings.

Although the son of Redoubte's Choice from a Zabeel mare was at long odds in the 2500m Derby, Hayes had been confident he would run a big race.

"Even in trackwork he doesn't get going until he's gone over a long trip. I think 2500m is the minimum distance for him," he said. "It was a big run. He ran home with some great sectionals, which is always a nice guide."

The last 3-year-old to win the Sandown race was Count Ricardo in 2004. Since then, only two have contested the event, with Furio finishing eighth and Saddler's Story 11th in 2006.

Rawnaq will carry 50.5kg on Saturday and be ridden by Hayes' apprentice, Chad Schofield.

The former leading Sydney apprentice joined Hayes' team in August.

He had the option of going home but will stick with the Lindsay Park team.

"He will be doing the majority of my riding," Hayes said.

"He's a very promising young jockey and as my stable builds up I want to be building with him.

"It's going to be good timing for me and him."

Hayes plans to run Rawnaq second-up in the ATC Australian Derby at Randwick in the autumn.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 02 Oct 2014 00:45:31 Processing Time: 575ms