The resurgence of trainer David Hayes into the top training ranks in Australia will gain more momentum if he can capture one or two of the Group 1 races that are on offer at Caulfield tomorrow.
Hayes virtually put his training business on hold for two years when he decided to pull up stumps at the famous Lindsay Park in South Australia and build a new training complex at Euroa in Victoria.
“I put my career on hold just about, for more than two years, because I shut down one of the biggest and most successful training centres in Australia to build a new one,” Hayes said.
“The plan was that it would take about six months to finish but it has been delayed 18 months due to inclement weather and the building process. It has taken a year longer than I wanted but we are here now – and I’m not looking back, I’m only looking forward.”
Hayes is going to Caulfield tomorrow with the confidence that he has solid chances in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
The Hall Of Fame trainer bounced into the Blue Diamond spotlight when his two year olds Mama’s Choice and General Rippa both scored at their first starts in impressive style at Caulfield in successive weeks.
Redoute’s Choice filly Mama’s Choice was ridden quietly by Dwayne Dunn at her debut and found the line hard to overhaul the early Blue Diamond favourite Jimando in the Listed $100,000 Emirates Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) on February 4.
Then the next week General Rippa ridden by Damien Oliver raced in the same manner to beat Rusambo in the Group 3 $125,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m).
Hayes also has second emergency Mrs Gray who has yet to win and if Hayes is successful in the Blue Diamond tomorrow it would chalk up his sixth in the Melbourne richest two year old race and would be a record which would be hard to surpass.
“General Rippa and Mama’s Choice have won their only starts and the thing I liked about their wins was they did it in slowly-run races,” Hayes said.
“When they can quicken from last off a slow tempo, they have got class.
“It is hard to split them as they have never been together at home but Mama’s Choice is probably a bit more foolproof.
“General Rippa is a bit behind in experience but both are very good young racehorses. It is disappointing Mrs Gray is second emergency but, if she gets a start, she will go well because she’s a very, very good filly, very underrated.
“The Blue Diamond has been a terrific race for me and I’ve got a good feeling about tomorrow.
Hayes is also going for back to back Oakleigh Plates with six year old Eagle Falls who returned to form last start with an eye catching win in the Group 3 $125,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.
“It would make it easier if Sepoy wasn’t in the race,” Hayes said.
“But Eagle Falls is right back to his best and, on his day, he is capable of winning just about any feature sprint in the country.”