Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Golden Slipper a family affair for Hayes brothers

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Image: Bruno Cannatelli

Ben and J D Hayes are hoping to follow in the footsteps of their father and grandfather by winning a Golden Slipper

A third generation of Lindsay Park trainers will be looking to make their mark on the world’s richest juvenile race with brothers Ben and J D Hayes preparing to saddle up two Golden Slipper runners.

The famous racing family has won the Slipper twice, their grandfather Colin Hayes capturing it with the great Rory’s Jester in 1985 and father David winning with brilliant filly Miss Finland 17 years ago.

Ben and JD will start Blue Diamond Stakes winner Little Brose and third placegetter Arkansaw Kid, the pair arriving in Sydney on Tuesday from their Victorian base.

While neither has raced clockwise, they were given a course proper gallop in the Sydney direction last week and Ben Hayes doesn’t anticipate it being an issue for either horse.

“We took them away (from Lindsay Park) early last week for an early morning course-proper gallop at Albury,” Ben Hayes said.

“Arkansaw Kid was no problem, he’s had plenty of work on his Sydney leg, and Little Brose is a very quick learner so I’m not too worried.”

The Hayes two-year-olds had mixed fortune at Tuesday’s barrier draw, Little Brose drawing well in gate five and Arkansaw Kid barrier 13 in the 16-horse field.

Like Ben, J D Hayes is upbeat about the chances of both youngsters and Little Brose in particular shapes as the horse that could be the fly in the ointment for the locals.

The more fancied of the pair at $14, Little Brose is yet to finish further back than second in four starts and boasts a win over Golden Slipper favourite Cylinder in the Merson Cooper Stakes in the spring.

He will be ridden by Michael Dee, his Blue Diamond Stakes partner who has subsequently brought his big race form to Sydney, claiming last Saturday’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic on Espiona.

“He’d win on a broomstick at the moment, so I hope he keeps that momentum going – at least until Saturday,” J D Hayes said of Dee.

“I’m very happy with the barrier draw for Little Brose, while with Arkansaw Kid from 13, it’s going to take a very good ride (from Jye Mcneil), but that horse is exceptionally well.

“He’s really improved out of the Blue Diamond and Little Brose has certainly maintained.

“We’ve got two happy horses going to a $5 million race.”

Lindsay Park will be out to end the recent dominance of Sydney trainers in the Golden Slipper with Mathew Ellerton the last interstate horseman to capture the feature in 2010 with Crystal Lily.


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