Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Ben and J.D. Hayes celebrated their first major as a training partnership with Mr Brightside which scored an upset victory in $3 million Doncaster Mile at Randwick.
Racing is in the blood of third-generation riders, they are the grandsons of legendary trainer Colin Hayes and the son of Hong Kong coach David, the brothers have worked as business partners last June to continue the family’s Lindsay Park legacy.
Mr Brightside was seen as an outside opportunity in the 1600m on Saturday but was elevated under the lead of Craig Williams to give the Hayes duo their first Sydney win and their first Group 1.
“With all the changes we’ve had over the past year when dad (David Hayes) is going to Hong Kong and Tom (Dabernig) is leaving the partnership, to get results like this with all of our team. we were just the biggest thrill,” said Ben Hayes.
“Brightside is a special horse for us. He was our first city winner and first Victorian bet winner and now he is our first Group 1 winner. ”
Ben and JD celebrated their First Team race success when Zayydani captured the Matriarch Stakes in Melbourne during the spring, and Ben hopes Mr Brightside’s win will provide some impetus to their stability.
The brothers achieved what Lindsay Park had never done before – win Doncaster.
In doing so, they became the first coaches from Victoria since Tony Vasil with Haradasun in 2007 to win the famous Randwick distance.
“A lot of our owners have given us back, there are some couples who have left but hopefully they will come back now,” said Ben Hayes.
“We’re hungry and we want to be successful and we’re getting it done.”
Williams said Mr Brightside ($20) wasn’t too comfortable on the heavyweight track but kept trying and was able to knock out Victorian-era colleague I’m Thunderstruck ($6) with last year’s runner-up Icebath ($21) again in the pads, another long neck goes far.
“The way this horse came in from New Zealand in a prep, they just took the steps through its levels and really developed this horse,” Williams said.
“He’s still not a furnished product, so really expect a vibrant spring now that he’ll likely be a weight for the pony age.”
Forbidden Love started her favorites and strutted her way forward in the straight, but she was given a late overhaul by position-watchers and finished fourth with rider Jamie Kah saying the 1600m had just found her.
“It’s really hard work. Jamie Kah, cyclist said.
*For existing customers only. 2nd Racing Bet. Except SA & WA. T&C is applicable. Responsible gambling.