It was a great thrill to see Hay List win the Newmarket Handicap on the weekend and not just because I backed it. While I could understand John McNair’s disappointment with the weight allocated, it would have been a tragedy if he had missed the opportunity to record what will probably turn out to be his greatest victory. Full credit to the owners for talking sense into the trainer and realising that weights have been raised across the board so perhaps it wasn’t as harsh a weight as he thought initially.
It certainly took all of Hay List’s fighting qualities to reel in Buffering close to the line, I thought he had stolen a winning break 50 metres or so out but you’ve got to remember that if Black Caviar wasn’t around, this horse would be the one being acknowledged as the greatest sprinter of all time and horses of that quality generally win when they get into a winning position.
I was interested in comments attributed to the connections of NSW spruike horse Rain Affair. The track was rated good (3) and he’d won twice before in those conditions yet trainer and jockey both said the horse found the track too hard. Does that mean he goes from a horse with 10 wins and a second and unlimited potential from eleven starts to just a wet tracker or did they need to find an excuse after Joseph Pride’s assertion that he would be winning the Newmarket?
The performance of Manighar to win the Australian Cup was exceptional and the improvement he has shown since getting to Peter Moody’s stable has been incredible. It’s hard to reconcile his three runs this campaign with the genuine but one-paced conveyance that has come out for the last two spring carnivals. You really have to love a horse that can fight back and win after being headed in the straight
Great to see Shoot Out back on the winner’s list, he must have appreciated having a long spell after his hectic 2010/11 season.