Returning to racing in excellent form this time in, trainer David Hayes is confident in the chances of impressive British import Spillway in this weekend’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick, despite an out-of-character run for seventh in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) last time out.
Securing four wins and five minor places from just 16 competitive starts so far, Spillway began his racing career under the guidance of British trainer Eve Johnson Houghton before transferring to the care of Hayes in the late stages of 2013.
Confirming the Caulfield Cup remains the major target for the Rail Link entire this time in, Hayes told The Daily Telegraph he wasn’t displeased with Spillway’s most recent performance despite the result, and is taking confidence from the campaign of his champion stayer Tawqeet in 2006 who followed up a forgettable Naturalism with back-to-back victories in the Metropolitan Handicap and Caulfield Cup.
“He just didn’t get out last start – should have won,” Hayes said.
“I went home after that race happy but frustrated as I remembered this is exactly what happened to Tawqeet eight years ago.
“He had no luck in the Naturalism so I took him to Sydney where he won The Metropolitan, that got him into the Caulfield Cup and he won that, too.
“I’m hoping we can do something similar with Spillway because I feel he is a very, very good horse.”
Having also included Spillway in nominations for the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington this weekend, Hayes said only a bogged track at Randwick would make his consider accepting a position in the Melbourne feature.
“I don’t want a heavy track so if we get a bog at Randwick then he’ll run in the Turnbull Stakes,” Hayes said.
“Spillway ‘goes’ at Randwick, he won there on a slow track in the autumn (Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate)”.
Unlucky to finish a close second to Star Rolling in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up on August 16th, Spillway continued to impressive when charging home to finish fourth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) just one week before the Naturalism.
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