First up specialist Redkirk Warrior is expected to figure prominently in the placings when he kicks off his 2019 Melbourne Autumn Carnival in the Group 2 $200,000 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Friday night.
Redkirk Warrior is the winner of four of his nine first up efforts and includes two Group 1 wins at Flemington in the 2017 $1.25m Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and the 2018 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m).
The multiple Group 1 winner hasn’t raced since finishing well behind the placegetters when tenth to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington during the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Redkirk Warrior topped off his preparation for his return to the race track in the Australia Stakes with a solid jump out at Flemington last Friday and Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig said that the stable was very pleased with the gallop.
“He was excellent last Friday in a Flemington jump out,” Dabernig said.
“He is getting ready for the All-Star Mile and he is a Group 1 proven horse.”
“I expect him to be hard to beat.”
The Lindsay Park Team of Dabernig and David and Ben Hayes are hoping to step Redkirk Warrior up to 1600m over the Autumn Carnival and gain a spot in the inaugural running of the $5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 16.
Hong Kong bound jockey Regan Bayliss has been a regular partner with Redkirk Warrior since his 2017 Newmarket Handicap win and was aboard the giant chestnut in his jump out at Flemington last week and was also happy with the way the eight year old stretched out.
“We are really happy with him,” Bayliss told racing.com.
“The stable has all positive reports and I got to sit on his back in a trial at Flemington last week and he gave me a great feel and he has raced at The Valley before and run well.”
“I am pretty happy with him and I think he will run a great race.”
Redkirk Warrior has had one run at The Valley for a second in a 1200m Handicap back in October 2016.
Ladbrokes.com.au have Redkirk Warrior marked at $7.50 in a wide open betting race that has seven runners under the $10 mark for the Australia Stakes.
Premier trainer Darren Weir will saddle up four runners in the Australia Stakes with Whispering Brook heading the betting at $3.70 just in front of her stablemates Land Of Plenty at $4.80 and Brave Smash at $6 while the last of the Weir runners is $18 chance Fifty Stars.