Regan Bayliss winning aboard Redkirk Warrior (Image: Bradley Photos)
Regan Bayliss has warned punters not to read too much into Redkirk Warrior's moderate trial a few weeks ago and instead concentrate on his amazing straight-track record at Flemington in the countdown to his return to Australian racing in Saturday's Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic.
Redkirk Warrior has won the past two Newmarket Handicaps as well as a Black Caviar Lightning down the straight course at Headquarters but the eight-year-old has lost favour with punters since an unsuccessful two-start English campaign was compounded by a less-than-impressive first-up trial at Flemington last month.
Bayliss is the first to admit the trial was not what he had come to expect from a horse of Redkirk Warrior's class.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit disappointed with his first trial, but he was trialling on that occasion against horses that have had three or four runs this campaign like Santa Ana Lane and Shoals and he was having his first trial," Bayliss said on Friday.
"I scratched the head a little bit but I wasn't too worried and then he improved massively the other day. His trial was excellent."
Bayliss said the straight track suits Redkirk Warrior as he really covers the ground when he runs at top speed.
"He's got such a big action," he explained. "For a sprinter, he hasn't just got a quick turn of foot. He accelerates but he's got sustained speed.
"He can hit his top and hold it for quite some time and that probably suits a straight horse."
Redkirk Warrior's straight-track wins in the autumn showed his amazing versatility. Over the 1000 metres of the Lightning, he came from last to mow down Redzel late and then over 1200m in the Newmarket, he jumped on the speed and held on to beat Brave Smash.
Bayliss said he has an open mind on how to ride the veteran on Saturday.
"He's the sort of horse that you just ride him where he lands on the day," he said.
"I do go into the race with some amount of confidence. He's a top-class sprinter."