Redkirk Warrior will be Lindsay Park's sole runner in Saturday's Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington with trainer David Hayes to keep fillies Catchy and Formality for the Oakleigh Plate.
Sydney sprinter Redzel is a dominant favourite for the weight-for-age 1000-metre dash but Hayes is hopeful the application of blinkers may spark Redkirk Warrior back to the form that saw him win the Newmarket Handicap last year.
"He trialled brilliantly up the straight and he has got the addition of blinkers for the first time, with the older horses it can really give them a lift and his training suggests with them on he could go to another level," Hayes said.
"He has got Redzel to beat, who is obviously a superstar, but if there is a horse in the field capable of an upset I think it is Redkirk Warrior.
"His form tapered off last prep, he went up to Sydney and ran a bit below par and then his final for the year was disappointing, so I thought a little bit of a change up in the blinkers might make the difference.
"He is an older horse, he doesn't change much prep to prep, I'm happy with the way his coat looks and I expect a bold showing.
"I think Redkirk Warrior at his best can test anything so hopefully I think he will do what I think he can do."
The lure of carrying a light weight under handicap conditions has swayed Hayes to save Catchy and Formality for the Oakleigh Plate, run at Caulfield on Saturday week.
"We will be looking at running them in the Oakleigh Plate, the handicap conditions of the Oakleigh Plate suits the three-year-old fillies so we will kick off their preps there," Hayes added.
"She is looking great, she has had a couple of easy trials, she is not a super worker but I've been very happy with her work and I know on race day she is a real performer, so I expect a great run there with Craig Williams booked to ride her a kilogram over on the big day."
David Hayes, picture Sportpix.com.au