Vega Magic is on track ahead of the TJ Smith Stakes. (John Donegan/Racing Photos via Getty Images)
Vega Magic is on track ahead of the TJ Smith Stakes. (John Donegan/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Early warning: Vega ready to weave his Magic

HALL of Fame trainer David Hayes believes giant chestnut Vega Magic is the TJ Smith Stakes wildcard after a brilliant barrier trial win at Randwick on Friday.

Hayes has set Vega Magic to go first-up into the TJ Smith Stakes on day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday week and was buoyed by the sprinter's powerful effort in the soft track conditions.

"Vega Magic was up against race-hardened, fit horses but he trialled really well,'' Hayes said,

"But what I liked about his trial was 400m after the post he was a few lengths in front of them. He wasn't stopping which was great to see.

"The plan has been to go to the TJ fresh. He has won a Goodwood first-up, won a Bletchingly first-up, he's very good first-up because he grabs those races by the scruff of the neck.''

Hayes, who trains in partnership with his son, Ben, and Tom Dabernig, is also optimistic his Lindsay Park stables can make their presence felt at the feature Rosehill Gardens meeting on Saturday.

The champion trainer has Qafila in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and stayers Ventura Storm and Muntahaa in the Group 1 $1.5 million Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m).

Trainer David Hayes was pleased with Vega Magic’s trial at Randwick on Friday. Picture: James Croucher
Trainer David Hayes was pleased with Vega Magic’s trial at Randwick on Friday. Picture: James Croucher

Promising Qafila is rated a $34 chance for the fillies classic but Hayes maintains she is a very competitive chance.

"Qafila has form around these good fillies in Melbourne, she has beaten a couple of them before,'' Hayes said.

"The track was against her last start and she still ran well.''

It was a similar theme from the trainer when analysing the chances of Muntahaa ($51) and Ventura Storm ($71) in the Tancred Stakes.

"Muntahaa will run a much improved race and it will top him off beautifully for the Sydney Cup,'' Hayes said.

"Ventura Storm is going to run a good race. He is up to his right distance, he's rock-hard fit now and he likes backing up.''

Hayes's dual Australian Cup winner Harlem is topweight for the Group 3 $160,000 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m).

"Harlem has trained on really well but if he rains, he won't run,'' Hayes said.

"If we get a heavy track we will go to plan B and trial him next week ahead of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

"I want to give Harlem a run on the Sydney leg before he goes to Hong Kong so I will run him against Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes provided the track is dry.''

News Corp Australia


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