Redkirk Warrior wins Group One Lightning Stakes

Redkirk Warrior has won the Lightning Stakes.
Lightning Stakes hero Redkirk Warrior has been invited to race at the famous Royal Ascot carnival.

Redkirk Warrior could return to the country where he was foaled following his stunning first-up win in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington.

Royal Ascot headhunter Nick Smith was at Flemington on Saturday and offered an invitation to Redkirk Warrior’s co-trainer David Hayes following the Group One win.

Having won last year’s Newmarket Handicap, also on the Flemington straight course, along with the Bobbie Lewis Stakes in the spring, a trip to England is something Lindsay Park will consider.

Redkirk Warrior did his early racing in England before going to Hong Kong where he raced on five occasions before joining Lindsay Park.

“He loves straight racing and Royal Ascot would suit him,” Hayes said.

“After that is Newmarket which is also straight racing.

“He’s a big scopey horse and all his moons seem to come together when the straight races come on.”

Ridden by Regan Bayliss, Redkirk Warrior ($10) charged home over the top of the $1.80 favourite Redzel to score by a short-head with Missrock ($21) 1-1/4 lengths away third.

Redkirk Warrior wore blinkers for the first time on Saturday after Hayes thought the gelding had become a “thinker” at the end of his last campaign.

“Just because they’re fast, sometimes they don’t focus, but he was focused today,” Hayes said.

“He ran down the best sprinter in Australia.”

Success also saw the reuniting of the Lindsay Park team and Bayliss who had been on the outer with the stable for a month.

Hayes explained he’s one of Bayliss’s biggest fans but felt he wasn’t riding at his optimum.

“He missed the start on one of my horses one day and then was up outside the leader,” Hayes said.

“One of my golden rules is if you miss the start you join in late, not early.

“Regan knows that better than anyone and that told me he needed a bit of a break, have a look at himself and a bit of a think.

“Today he was nearly too patient.”

Redzel’s trainer Peter Snowden said the sprinter, shooting for a seventh successive win, was brave in defeat.

“It was a really well judged ride by Regan Bayliss,” Snowden said.

“Kerrin went at the right time, kicked clear, had the race won, but Regan waited an extra 80 metres and that was the difference between winning and losing.

“He’ll bounce off this, go back to Sydney and run in four weeks time and head to the T J Smith after that.”