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Mature Faatinah ready to fire

An international campaign looks to have been just what Faatinah needed, with trainer David Hayes declaring the Group-1 placed sprinter has returned a better horse.

The son of Nicconi impressed in an 800-metre jumpout at Flemington on Friday morning, with Hayes confirming the six year-old will head straight to the Carlyon Stakes on August 25.

"I think he's come back from Dubai and probably improved a bit, he's always been a backward horse and he's finally fully matured," said Hayes.

"He looked really sharp (today), I won't trial him again, I thought that was as good as he goes, he looked fantastic."

David Hayes, picture Quentinjlang.com


Hayes also touched on the development of now three-year-old colt Long Leaf, who was a mainstay of last season's two-year-old features.

The Flemington trainer said the Fastnet Rock colt has shown continued progression in his early work this preparation, also impressing in a jumpout at Flemington on Friday.

"I thought he was good last week against Oohood down the straight and today came from last and I think he won - if he didn't win he ran second and it was a really good effort," he said.

Long Leaf is set to resume in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) on August 18, with Hayes confirming he'll probably be kept to the sprinting trips this spring and bypass the Caulfield Guineas (1600m).

"We'll see how he sprints in the Vain next week and if he sprints well we might keep him sprinting depends how he's racing but the Guineas is up in the air," Hayes said.

"At the moment I'd say the way he's working we might train him as a sprinter and trial him as a miler in the autumn."

One who is on a Guineas path though is the stable's Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Enbihaar, with Hayes saying she'll go through the regular route to get there after working well on Friday.

"Through the fillies' races towards the Guineas, she wasn't knocked about today because the track's firm, (Andrew) Mallyon was happy with her and she'll step out in the next couple of weeks," he said.


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