Gallant sprinter Hay List has taken an impressive step in his comeback, winning a barrier trial at Randwick yesterday.
Trainer John McNair didn't have a great view but was more concerned with being there when the horse came off the track.
The injury-prone sprinter was given the all-clear by vets after beating Fontelina in the 800m heat on the course proper before going home to the Central Coast.
"I couldn't be happier. He got through everything in great shape," McNair said.
"I still haven't seen the actual trial. All I could see, from where I was, was how he jumped and how he pulled up, which was the main thing.
"(Vets) Craig Suann and Nick Kannegieter checked him over and they were happy. It's a big day out for the horse."
The winner of last year's Newmarket Handicap, Hay List was rated the second- best sprinter in the world for 2012 behind Black Caviar.
He hasn't been seen since running second to three-year-old Foxwedge in the weight-for-age William Reid Stakes in March.
Hay List has won 15 of his 23 starts, including three Group 1 victories, in a career littered with injuries.
His latest setback was the most serious. The gelding injuring a leg when he slipped as he tried to stand after an emergency colic operation in April.
"Hopefully all his bad luck is over now," McNair said.
Hay List weighs in at 612kg and McNair would like to get him to about 605kg before the Group 2 Challenge Stakes on March 16.
"I'd like to bring him back to Sydney and maybe give him a gallop on a race day to get the juices flowing," McNair said.
Australian Associated Press