Star sprinter Hay List is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery while his injured trainer John McNair's rehabilitation from several broken bones is taking longer than he would like.
McNair suffered broken vertebrae, a broken pelvis and breaks to his right ankle and foot when a horse fell on him in early September and is looking at another three months before returning to some sort of normality.
"Hay List is well ahead of where they expected him to be," McNair said. "He's had three knee surgeries but is progressing quickly.
"He's up to cantering and I hope we see him in the autumn.
"He'll bypass the Lightning and race in Sydney. I think he races bet- ter in this direction and the Challenge Stakes is a race I've picked.
"He's doing better than me. It's been 10 weeks and I thought I'd be right by now but will need a stick for a bit longer, although the doctors tell me I am doing better than most. The worst thing is not being able to get on a horse."
One member of the team who is fit and ready to compete is Irish Jig, the former Hong Kong galloper who represents the stable at Rosehill on Saturday.
McNair is convinced Irish Jig is ripe for a bold first-up run in the November Flying (1200m).
Irish Jig began his career in Ireland where he scored two wins and was sent to Hong Kong.
He recorded just one win and a string of placings in his two years there and was sent to McNair with a view to retirement.
"I get a lot of horses who have broken down up there and are sent to me to find homes for," he said.
"He had some problems but he came good and his owners love their racing so we thought we'd get him back to the track."
Irish Jig has had eight starts for McNair for five minor placings in his first preparation before a 1200m victory at Rosehill in June.
Australian Associated Press