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Ad Mr Brightside (NZ) ridden by Craig Williams wins the PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

Mr Brightside ready for Champions tilt

10 November 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Mr Brightside will chase Group 1 honours in the Champions Mile at Flemington.

The Lindsay Park team of Ben, Will and J D Hayes would like a little luck to go their way in what has been a frustrating week at Flemington

After Mr Brightside was touched out in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, the Hayes boys have suffered narrow losses with Apulia and Crosshaven earlier in Melbourne Cup week. 

"With a bit of luck, we could be having a great Cup Carnival," Ben Hayes said. 

The Lindsay Park stable is pinning their hopes in Mr Brightside to end Cup week with a Group 1 win in the Champions Mile (1600m) on Saturday. 

Hayes said the stable made the decision to come back from the 2040m of the Cox Plate when beaten by Romantic Warrior to Saturday's journey with a view of a potential trip to Hong Kong. 

"He's an elite miler, so if we do decide to go to Hong Kong, it gives us more options," Hayes said. 

"We can stay at the mile or go to 2000 metres in Hong Kong, but we've got to get through this run first and see how he recovers from it. 

"We haven't committed to anything yet. He's in the sixth run for the prep and these good horses, you do need to look after them. 

"It's something we'll discuss with the team after the run." 

Hayes said Mr Brightside had remained at Flemington since his Cox Plate defeat and had freshened up nicely for his tilt on Saturday. 

Mr Brightside will also be racing in blinkers again as the gelding looks to improve on his fourth in the corresponding race in 2021, when run as a handicap, then third last year. 

"He's probably due and there will be no excuses," Hayes said. 

"He hasn't missed a day's work. We've kept him at Flemington since the Cox Plate and we've always said that he thrives racing two weeks, two weeks, and that is what is happening here. 

"He's done so well and is a happy, enjoyable horse. 

"I never get sick about talking about Mr Brightside, but if I ever do, slap me."