Hayes’ star can defy the odds in Doncaster
David Hayes has urged punters not to abandon former Doncaster Mile favourite Fifty Stars in Saturday's Group 1 race after the import's horror barrier draw.
Fifty Stars drifted to $7 immediately after drawing the outside of the 24-horse field, which includes four emergencies.
But Hayes believes history - the bulk of winners over the past 30 years have come from middle to outside gates - can potentially help Fifty Stars overcome mountainous odds.
The last horse to land the Doncaster from the outside alley was Patezza (barrier 16) in 2005.
As it stands now, Fifty Stars is likely to start from no closer than gate 20, unless there is a swathe of scratchings - and there is little prospect of heavy rain to trigger mass withdrawals.
"The barrier draw for Fifty Stars is disappointing," Hayes said.
"I was thrilled with the other two (Fundamentalist, two, and So Si Bon, five).
"I would have loved to have had a middle or in gate for Fifty Stars but, you never know, by race nine on Saturday, they might all be coming down the middle of the track anyway.
"It will take a very clever tactical ride by Jye McNeil.
"But, sometimes if you can find a bum, it doesn't matter."
The deflating barrier issue aside, Hayes has immense faith in the lightly-raced star, who has eight wins and two placings from 12 starts.
"He's going really well," Hayes said. "He's had the perfect lead-up.
"He's won two Group 2s leading into the race and he was favourite before the barrier draw, so you'll get you'll get a lot better odds because of the barrier draw."
Hayes hopes Vega Magic can reprise elite first-up form to strongly contend in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
"He's a proven first-up horse," Hayes said.
"He's been brilliant for the stable first-up on a couple of occasions, winning a Goodwood (Handicap) and winning a Bletchingly (Stakes) and I think he's in similar form to that.
"It is a very, very strong race. It's The Everest in disguise, isn't it?
"The firmer the track is getting, the more confident I would be."
Lindsay Park will also start Futooh (Adrian Knox Stakes), Muntahaa and Ventura Storm (Chairman's Quality) and Spanish Whisper (PJ Bell Stakes) at Randwick.