Arkansaw Kid chases G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes honours

The Lindsay Park stable is looking to bounce back after the disappointment of a narrow Cox Plate defeat in the first of three Group 1 races on the opening of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.

Mr Brightside was beaten in a deceptive photo finish in the Cox Plate last weekend and the gelding’s trainers Ben, Will and J D Hayes are looking to Arkansaw Kid to provide some form of compensation in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.

The Coolmore Stud Stakes is the first of three Group 1 races on Saturday’s program which will be followed by the Victoria Derby (2500m) in which the stable has Apulia running with Barbie’s Fox representing the team in the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).

Ben Hayes said Arkansaw Kid was deserving of his chance in the Coolmore which is seen as an important race for potential stallions.

Arkansaw Kid won on debut at Moonee Valley just over 12 months ago and stamped his class in the autumn finishing third in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Sandown.

The colt was spelled after finishing seventh in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) in Sydney and resumed with a poor display up the straight at Flemington on September 16, but was later diagnosed with heart fibrillation.

Arkansaw Kid then made his way to Caulfield to win the Listed Gothic Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 21 and earn himself a tilt at Group 1 company on Saturday.

“It’s a very open race and I don’t think there is a standout,” Hayes said.

“He’s a horse that is going to improve a lot. He was five weeks between runs winning the Gothic and then it’s two weeks into this.

“He’s got the improvement and the quality to do it. He’s a beautiful horse and we’ve always had a very high opinion of him, and we think of him as one of our better three-year-olds.

“He could surprise.”

The Lindsay Park stable added a tongue tie to Arkansaw Kid’s gear at Caulfield last start and Hayes believes Arkansaw Kid will relax a lot better this time around at Flemington.

“When he’s trialled down the straight, he’s gone like an absolute bullet, so we’re willing to forgive his effort when he ran down the straight first-up,” Hayes said.

“And if he can find a bum and relaxes, he’ll give a really good turn of foot.”

Jye Mcneil replaces Damien Oliver aboard Arkansaw Kid on Saturday with Oliver, riding at his last Victoria Derby Day meeting, having earlier committed to Moravia.

“I would have loved to have had Ollie on him on Saturday,” Hayes said.

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