Star Sydney sprinter Hay List defied history to win the Newmarket Handicap.
Hay List finally snared the major victory Black Caviar had cruelly denied him when he scored a historic win in today’s $1 million Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
The New South Wales star, trained at Gosford by John McNair, set a metric weight-carrying record when he carted 58.5kg to a thrilling win over Buffering in Australia’s most prestigious sprint race.
It was the heaviest weight carried to victory in Newmarket since Gold Stakes carted the equivalent of 60kg to victory in 1959 and jockey Glyn Schofield was thrilled to see his prized mount have his time in the sun.
“I felt going down to the barriers that he was looking around saying, ‘where is she?’,” Schofield in reference to Hay List’s nemesis Black Caviar. “He had a lot of horses to look through, but he couldn’t find her.
“But all jokes aside, we’re happy with the win. I’m just grateful this fella’s got his name up in the winner’s stall.”
The victory added to a remarkable record that hasn’t got the recognition it deserved because of Black Caviar.
Hay List has now won three Group 1s, following victories in the 2010 Manikato Stakes and last year’s All Aged Stakes, and the only time he’s been beaten in the past seven starts has been four Group 1 second placings to Black Caviar.
The six-year-old son of Statue Of Liberty only jumped moderately in the Newmarket, but Schofield pushed through to race in the clear to the outside of leading duo Rain Affair and Buffering, who set the pace on the inside half of the track.
Hay List travelled sweetly until around the 400m, when Schofield started urging him along and while he responded he had a fight on his hands the 200m when Buffering kicked strongly.
Hay List ($3.80 fav) knuckled down gamely over the final 100m to nab the Queenslander, who started at $21, on the line and score by a half-head.
The result franked the form of the Lightning Stakes, when Hay List and Buffering ran second and third to Black Caviar, while Lightning fourth placegetter Foxwedge ($7.50) was a further two lengths away third in the Newmarket.
Outside the placegetters, Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready ($151) flashed home from third-last at the 400m to finish fourth, while Buffering’s stablemate, Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim ($21), also did his best work late to run fifth.
Schofield said Hay List didn’t travel all that sweetly and did a good job to register the 15th win of his 22-start career under the monster impost.
“With the big weight he wanted to race a little bit too much too early and I was trying to fight him, not too much, but just enough to get him back in behind Foxwedge and get a trail off that horse,” the jockey said.
“I said to John (McNair) early on I didn’t want to really make him carry his weight all the way, I just wanted to make him carry it inside the last furlong if I could.
“He hit the front probably inside the last furlong and he felt it, but fortunately he didn’t have one mare (Black Caviar) to chase down today.”