Winkers test for Brightside at Valley

Ben and J D Hayes are contemplating using winkers on Mr Brightside in the Cox Plate to try and squeeze an extra length out of the gelding.

MR BRIGHTSIDE. Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

Lindsay Park trainers Ben and Jd Hayes will take Cox Plate contender Mr Brightside to Moonee Valley to gallop at 'Breakfast With The Best'. 

Tuesday morning's workout will also see Mr Brightside work in winkers after which the Hayes brothers will discuss with jockey Craig Williams whether the gelding will wear the headgear in Saturday's Group 1 weight-for-age contest over 2040m. 

"We're toying with the idea of putting a set of winkers on, in the hope of finding that extra length to be competitive with the big guys," Ben Hayes said. 

"At least we can work him and see what Craig thinks before we must declare for the Cox Plate

"We'll probably work him with company to see if he relaxes in behind. 

"The exciting thing about him is he has a good record at The Valley. He's undefeated. The last time he raced there he won by 4-½ lengths which is a bonus for us going in. 

"Hopefully we can get a get draw and Craig can ride a tactical race. 

"You never know." 

Mr Brightside enters Saturday's contest having finished fourth behind Anamoe, I'm Thunderstruck and Zaaki, all opponents on Saturday, in the Group 1 Might And Power Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 8. 

Prior to that, Mr Brightside finished fifth behind Alligator Blood and Mo'Unga, two other opponents in the Cox Plate, in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on September 25. 

Hayes said he and his brother had been a little 'kind' to Mr Brightside in the lead-up to the Underwood and had noticed a better showing at Caulfield. 

Since the Underwood run, Mr Brightside had remained at Lindsay Park's Flemington stable to prepare for the Cox Plate. 

"The horse is spot on. He's ready for a peak run," Hayes said. 

"His last run he hit the line really strong and of all those horses he was possibly the best closer." 


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