Trainer John McNair declared he was increasingly optimistic about the chances of Hay List returning to the racetrack after another bout of knee surgery last week.
Hay List winning the Lexus Newmarket Handicap at Flemington – photo by Race Horse Photos Australia
The grand sprinter’s career was at the crossroads when he injured a knee shortly after undergoing emergency surgery for colic in April.
There was speculation he might have run his last race but his recovery has been so rapid McNair has begun to hope again.
“He had another operation last Wednesday and a very large piece of bone was taken out of the back of the knee, about the size of a macadamia nut,” McNair told Sydney’s Sky Sports radio on Wednesday.
“He has recovered extremely well from the operation, a bit too well. We’re trying to keep him as quiet as possible which isn’t easy to do.
“The horse is remarkable. I’m starting to grow more and more confident about the fact he will race again.”
McNair said Hay List would have an arthroscope on his knee in October or November and he hoped the seven-year-old could resume light work early next year.
“We will go in there in eight or ten weeks time and they will smooth everything off and that’s when we’ll be able to start to get a bit more serious with him,” McNair said.
“We would be hoping to put him back into a bit of light training just after Christmas time. Maybe January next year and we’ll just take it from there.”
He added he was surprised with how quickly Hay List had recovered from both his injury and subsequent surgery.
At one stage, connections feared he would never walk normally again, let alone grace a racetrack.
Now McNair is daring to hope Hay List might eventually return to his brilliant best.
“He’s the reason I’m still training,” he said.
“I’ll be satisfied once he gets back and wins another Group One race, then I’ll feel like I’ve done my job right.”
Hay List scored one of his finest wins in the Group One Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March but has not raced since his shock defeat by Foxwedge in the William Reid Stakes.