Vega Magic's absence for the remainder of the spring has not necessarily ruined Lindsay Park's hopes for a Group 1 sprint title at Flemington after an encouraging return trial this week by the stable's veteran sprint champion Redkirk Warrior (GB).
The eight-year-old sprinter has not been seen since dual failures in the big sprints in England at Royal Ascot and Newmarket, but Hayes said he felt the horse was on track to continue his straight-track dominance in the $1 million VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) on November 10.
"He trialled very, very well yesterday (at Lindsay Park, Euroa) and will be down at Flemington for another trial in about a week or so," trainer David Hayes said on Wednesday.
"The way he worked yesterday, I think he'll come back very well."
No horse in the land can boast the straight-track record of Redkirk Warrior.
He won the Newmarket Handicap in 2017 before returning 12 months later to add both the 1000-metre G1 Black Caviar Lightning to another Newmarket title when he beat Brave Smash and the eventual Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner at Royal Ascot, Merchant Navy.
As for Vega Magic, Hayes confirmed he was sent for a spell to recuperate from a sore joint incurred on the heavy track at Randwick in last Saturday's The Everest.
"He's given his joint a bit of a wrench," Hayes said. "It's not too serious but if we push on we could injure him.
"He's in line for a big autumn."
Redkirk Warrior (GB) and Regan Bayliss, picture Quentinjlang.com