Regan Bayliss rides Redkirk Warrior to victory in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on March 10. Picture: Julian Smith/aap
Regan Bayliss rides Redkirk Warrior to victory in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on March 10. Picture: Julian Smith/aap

Warrior heads Aussie troupe for Royal Ascot

REDKIRK Warrior remains a recruiting priority for Royal Ascot officials after Chris Wall­er's decision not to take Winx to the glamour event.

Ascot director of racing and communications Nick Smith wants Redkirk Warrior, Shoals and Supido to race at the June 19-23 fixture.

Smith indicated the Australians could contest ­either or both of Ascot's Group 1 sprints - the King's Stand (1000m) and the Diamond Jubilee (1200m).

Lindsay Park has decided Redkirk Warrior will bypass the Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin on April 29 despite being owned in Hong Kong.

David Hayes believes Redkirk Warrior's devastating ability on straight courses means the gelding will be best suited at Royal Ascot.

Hayes used Hong Kong as a launching pad for Criterion in 2015 and had considered doing the same again.

Regan Bayliss looks inboard as Redkirk Warrior crosses the finish line on the outside fence to win the Newmarket Handicap on Super Saturday. Picture: AAP
Regan Bayliss looks inboard as Redkirk Warrior crosses the finish line on the outside fence to win the Newmarket Handicap on Super Saturday. Picture: AAP

But starting the dual Newmarket Handicap winner fresh on June 23 held more appeal.

Bought as a stayer in 2014 after winning a 2012m han­dicap at Ascot, Redkirk Warrior was plagued by foot and throat issues after landing in Australia via Hong Kong.

Reinvented as a sprinter, he has four Group victories down Flemington's straight and is only the fourth horse to win successive Newmarkets in more than a century.

With Winx's connections chasing an unprecedented fourth consecutive Cox Plate, Australia's sprinters will carry the flag at Royal Ascot.

The Lightning Stakes, won by Redkirk Warrior in February, has proven a good guide to King's Stand success.

Our four King's Stand win­ners - Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast (2009) - all won the Lightning in the same year.

Black Caviar also won the Lightning in 2012 before taking out the Diamond Jubilee.

- Leo Schlink



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