By Ray Hickson
Plans for exciting three-year-old More Sundays to tackle the Golden Rose go on the line at Royal Randwick on Saturday but a win still doesn’t guarantee the blueblood a start in the $1 million race.
The son of More Joyous is the fourth favourite with TAB at $11 for the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) but has just over $14,000 in the bank from his maiden win at Geelong in early August at his only start.
In the current order of entry, $200,000-plus is required to be top 16 and collecting $58,000 for winning the ATC Heritage Society Handicap (1300m) would only elevate him to the mid-50s.
Champion trainer David Hayes is hoping More Sundays can squeeze into the field, as are many punters, and said at this stage the colt won’t have another run before the Group 1 on September 22.
“We’re hoping we can qualify him for the Golden Rose, that’s the plan, and he’ll be a very popular horse if he can win Saturday going into the big race,’’ Hayes said.
“If it’s not enough to get him in we’ll change path and head to Melbourne.’’
If Hayes’ view changes and it’s Golden Rose or bust, More Sundays may need to back up in either the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) or Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) on Saturday week or go to the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 14 to earn a start.
More Sundays impresses winning his Rosehill trial on August 20
Or hope for a heavy attrition rate.
That issue aside, Hayes is excited about the valuable colt who captured everyone’s attention with a rousing trial win at Rosehill on August 20 and opened $2.10 with TAB for Saturday's race.
“We think he’s pretty good. In his maiden he was ridden from the front and in the trial he was ridden back and he was probably more impressive,’’ Hayes said.
“He surprised me that he wasn’t more impressive in his maiden, he did what I thought he’d do in the trial.
“The good thing about him is you can ride him the way it unfolds. I think he’s not one dimensional which always takes a horse to another level.’’
Kerrin McEvoy, who rode the colt in the trial, is booked to ride at Randwick.
Hayes is adamant he has a Flight Stakes contender on his hands in the shape of Fundamentalist, who kicks off in the Group 2 $200,000 Darley Furious Stakes (1200m).
The filly hasn’t missed a placing in six start and showed a glimpse of her potential running third to The Autumn Sun in the Group 1 JJ Atkins over the mile in the Brisbane winter.
“All her races were a good level, she did a great job. I would say she’s a genuine Flight Stakes/Thousand Guineas horse,’’ Hayes said.
“I would say she’ll go back and be hitting the line, as long as she is it sets her up for the Flight.’’
Meanwhile, Hayes is bullish that Vega Magic can reinforce his place as a major player in The Everest by claiming back-to-back wins in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) on Saturday in Melbourne.
As it was last year when he was runner-up to Redzel, it’ll be the six-year-old’s final run before the $13 million TAB Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 13.
“His build up has been really good, it’s a good version of the Memsie but it will take a good one to beat him,’’ Hayes said.