Warrior up for the fight in the Orr

4 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

This is the favourite time of the year for Redkirk Warrior (GB) (Notnowcato {GB}) and the feeling in the Lindsay Park camp is that he’s ready to shine again.

The 8-year-old turned in an encouraging performance for fifth last time out in the G2 Australia S. and a step up to 1400 metres in the G1 Ladbrokes CF Orr S. at Caulfield on Saturday will ideally suit the chestnut.

“It was a fantastic run at Moonee Valley,” co-trainer Ben Hayes said. “He went in a little bit under done, he’d only had one trial, and we were really happy with him.

“He ran one of the fastest last 400 metres of the race and he looks like he’s trained on well.

“It was a fantastic run at Moonee Valley.” - Ben Hayes.

“Interestingly, all of his Group 1 wins have been in the autumn. He peaks at this time of the year and all the signs are that he is again.”

Co-trainers David (left) and Ben Hayes (right) and Tom Dabernig (centre)

Redkirk Warrior has triumphed in the last two editions of the G1 Newmarket H. and has success in the G1 Lightning H. also on his record.

The Orr S. will provide a stern test, but his connections are confident the gelding can acquit himself extremely well.

“It’s Group 1 level and there are some exceptional horses in it,” Hayes said. “He’ll need to be at his very best to win.”

“It’s Group 1 level and there are some exceptional horses in it.” – Ben Hayes.

Another top-flight victory on Redkirk Warrior’s resume would boost his chances of a start in his target race.

“We’re hoping he runs very well in the Orr to win some more votes for the All-Star Mile,” Hayes said.

While Redkirk Warrior has been outstanding over the shorter trips, he has also proved himself to be a versatile performer.

“He has won a Group 3 (Sandown S.) over 1500 metres and he has won twice over 2000 metres,” Hayes said.

“People here know him as a sprinter here, but he came to us as a mile and 2000 metres horse.” - Ben Hayes.

Redkirk Warrior won his first two starts over middle distance when trained in England by William Haggas before a spell in Hong Kong where he was successful over a mile.

“People here know him as a sprinter here, but he came to us as a mile and 2000 metres horse,” Hayes said.

Redkirk Warrior will be joined in the Orr by stablemate So Si Bon (So You Think {NZ}) and newcomer Fifty Stars (Ire) {Sea The Stars {Ire}).

“So Si Bon has drawn 15 so we’ll ride him quietly and hopefully they run along and it’s a high speed race,” Hayes said.

“Since he’s been gelded his form has been excellent and he deserves a shot at this. He’s capable of running a big race.”

“Since he’s been gelded his form has been excellent and he deserves a shot at this.” – Ben Hayes.

So Si Bon won the Listed Lord S. on the track two runs back and then finished runner-up in an open handicap at Flemington where he led and was collared late in the piece.

Fifty Stars has found his way to Lindsay Park as part of the ongoing Darren Weir fall-out and finished sixth when resuming in the G2 Australia S.

“He came to our yard this week and he looks well,” Hayes said. “It will be interesting to see how he goes, it was a very good run in the Australia S.”

Fifty Stars has stamped himself as a progressive 4-year-old with six wins from his nine starts and produced a career-high performance in the spring when he claimed the G3 Sandown S.