Schillaci Stakes now in Hayes' thoughtsThursday 18 July 2019
David Hayes has never won a Schillaci Stakes but the champion trainer admits this year's race is now definitely on his radar.
The Melbourne Racing Club announced on Tuesday the Group Two Schillaci Stakes (1100m) on October 12 at Caulfield would be a 'win and you're in' race for the $14 million Everest in Sydney a week later after striking a deal with the Australian Turf Club for a slot in this year's race.
Whether Hayes ends up having any runners in the Schillaci remains to be seen but he said the spot in The Everest to the winner was an "incredible incentive".
"I think it would be front of mind, anyway," Hayes said.
"I'm maybe changing the program of a few, and looking for that race. It's a race I've never really targeted before."
Hayes' Lindsay Park stable has been represented in the first two runnings of The Everest, with Vega Magic finishing second in 2017 while stablemates Tulip and Redkirk Warrior finished fifth and 10th respectively.
Vega Magic also snared a slot in last year's race but finished last.
Vega Magic, who has won and finished fourth in the Group One Memsie Stakes the past two years early in the season in Melbourne, is nearing a race return.
"I think he has come back brilliantly," Hayes said.
"I'm very, very happy with him.
"He's going to be trialling in the next week and then we'll make a decision what we do with him after the first trial."