Jockey Regan Bayliss is relishing the prospect of being reunited with Redkirk Warrior in Saturday’s July Cup after giving his big-race mount a Monday morning workout at Newmarket.
The Australian speedball was bitterly disappointing when well-fancied for the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot last month under Frankie Dettori and while connections are not blaming the Italian, Redkirk Warrior’s regular partner has jetted in for his next assignment.
The 21-year-old has steered the seven-year-old to each of his three victories at Group One level and after a solo five-furlong workout on the July Course, Bayliss is in confident mood.
“It was good to have a look at the track as we’ve got nothing like that in Australia. It’s good to have a ride on it before Saturday and the horse is in really good order,” said the jockey.
“We’re not here to break any records (this morning). It was a bit of a maintenance gallop to keep on top of things.
“He’s in tip-top order and the gallop went very well. He stretched out nicely and I could not be happier with him.”
Redkirk Warrior gave the Diamond Jubilee winner Merchant Navy almost a stone in weight and a narrow beating when landing the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington earlier in the year, which makes his Ascot performance all the more perplexing.
Bayliss added: “At the start of his preparation he beat Merchant Navy, so he’s got very good form against very good horses.
“It was a disappointing run at Ascot, which left us scratching our heads a little bit, but he looks terrific in his coat and he’s very well and working great.
“When he is on-song he’s one of the best sprinters we’ve got in Australia, if not the world.
“It’s a pleasure to be here for such a prestigious week in England. It’s definitely a dream come true. I’m 21 years of age and I’m lucky I’ve found a horse this good so early on in my career.”
Redkirk Warrior is trained in partnership by David Hayes, his son Ben and Tom Dabernig.
Ben Hayes oversaw his most recent workout and is hopeful the stable star is back to his best.
He said: “He’s done really well since Ascot and he did a strong piece of work on the Al Bahathri on Thursday morning. Dara O’Meachair, who rides him, was happy as he showed a really good turn of foot.
“The thing that frustrated us about Ascot was that Merchant Navy won it and we’d beaten him with more weight.
“He’s definitely good enough and capable enough, we’ve just got to get the best out of him.”
He added: “All the signs suggest he’s back on track and Regan Bayliss is back on board. He has a good affiliation with him and every time he’s been on the horse has flown, so hopefully he is the answer.
“He ran too bad to be true last time and Frankie didn’t ride him that bad at all. The owners just wanted to try the jockey that had won all the Group Ones on him.”
Hayes raised the possibility of Redkirk Warrior remaining in Britain for next month’s Nunthorpe at York, providing he shows his true colours this weekend.
Hayes said: “If he wins, he might go to York afterwards, but he’s got to win this first.”