Sikorsky, ridden by Damien Oliver, wins at Flemington (Image: Racing Photos/Reg Ryan)

Sikorsky, ridden by Damien Oliver, wins at Flemington (Image: Racing Photos/Reg Ryan)

Hayes picks G1 target for Sikorsky

Ben Hayes set his sights on winning ‘the real Kennedy Mile’ with Sikorsky after the four-year-old won a benchmark 78 handicap over 1600 metres in the same name at Flemington on Saturday.

Hayes, who prepares Sikorsky in partnership with David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, believes the son of Pierro could be back at Flemington on Derby Day for the Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m), also known as the Cantala Stakes.

“We really like this horse, we like him before he had his injury,” Hayes said, referencing his near fore tendon strain sustained after finishing fourth in the 2018 Victoria Derby (2500m).

“Today proved to us that he’s come back really well. I’m sure Ollie (Damien Oliver, winning jockey) will be very happy with what he felt under him today.” 

WATCH: Sikorsky win at Flemington

Oliver also shares Hayes’ enthusiasm for future feature races over the Flemington mile, albeit nominating the $128,000 Listed Winter Championship Final (1600m) on July 4 as a suitable short-term assignment.

“I was just saying to Ben (Hayes) that I reckon a race like the Winter Championship would be a good option for him,” Oliver said.

“He’s on the way up, he’s low in the (handicap) ratings and seems to like it here.

"He‘s a horse that runs 2000 metres but I think I like him at the mile on a big track too,” Oliver added.

Sikorsky has raced 10 times for two wins, his only other victory coming over the mile in a Sale maiden in September 2018.

Sikorsky is likely to have his next start in a benchmark 84 handicap over 1400 metres at Caulfield on May 30.