Racing: Hayes shrugs off worries over Redkirk Warrior


The six-year-old won the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) by two lengths. Photo / 123RF
The six-year-old won the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) by two lengths. Photo / 123RF

David Hayes has shrugged off concerns about Redkirk Warrior's unorthodox Doncaster preparation and insists he is a "weight-for-age horse with a handicapper's weight" in Saturday's A$3 million feature in Sydney.

Tackling the Randwick mile second-up off one 1200m run is not your normal Doncaster preparation but, then again, Hayes insists Redkirk Warrior is not your average horse.

The six-year-old won the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) by two lengths first-up at Flemington on March 11 and Hayes pointed to Redkirk Warrior's record to suggest the Randwick mile will pose him no concerns on Saturday.

"I feel the mile second-up in a Doncaster traditionally would be a worry but we've set him that way because he has a good first-up record at 2000m in his life, so I don't think now a mile will cause too many troubles," he said.

"He won over 2000m on debut [in England] and then he hadn't raced for [one] year and second-up in the spring [last year] he won the Sandown Stakes over 1500m beating Stratum Star and if it was a mile, he would have beat him pretty easy."

Hayes would have liked Redkirk Warrior to have drawn a better gate than 15 but is confident he can overcome the wide draw and a potential wet track with just 53kg on his back.

"If the track was going to be dry I would be very disappointed [with that barrier] but I think they might be coming out [wide] anyway," he said, referring to recent wet weather in Sydney.

"Redkirk has never raced on [a wet track] but I did trial him [on wet ground] one day against very moderate company and he looked like Phar Lap."

Le Romain remains the A$6 Doncaster Mile favourite after drawing ideally in barrier eight.


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