Lindsay Park senior trainer David Hayes will feel like he’s taken up a new vocation as he waits for the start of the 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes.
From his vantage point in the trainers’ stand at Caulfield on Saturday, Hayes will be keeping an eye on his six entrants in the Group One race for two-year-olds.
Hayes, who trains in partnership with son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, will saddle $5.50 favourite Catchy, $6.50 equal second pick Tulip along with Formality ($7.50), Wait For No One ($31), Muraahib ($35) and Will’s Bid ($61).
“I’ll know what it’s like to be (race callers) Greg Miles and Bryan Martin,” Hayes said.
With five Blue Diamond victories already in his keeping, the latest with Reaan in 2008, Hayes is looking for his first since joining forces with family members.
He said it had been a hectic period ensuring the six were at peak fitness knowing one day you had a fit and healthy juvenile while the next they could be in the paddock through immaturity or nursing a bout of shin soreness.
Hayes is reluctant to say whether this year’s crop, which has produced 13 individual winners of 20 races, is the best to pass through the stable.
“Going into the Diamond this is as good a group as we’ve had for a long time,” Hayes said.
“But it’s easy to forget in Miss Finland’s year we had Nadeem win this race, Miss Finland win the Golden Slipper and the trifecta in the Sires’.
“When I look through history this crop has got a bit to do but they look well poised to be running well in all the two-year-old races going forward because they’ve been lightly raced.”
Betting suggests the Lindsay Park fillies have the edge on their male counterparts and its the way Hayes sees it, mainly because of barrier draws with all his runners drawn in the widest half of the field.
If forced to make a selection he has Catchy slightly ahead of Tulip with Will’s Bid being the “blow-out” contender.
“Gary Fennessey (stable foreman) correctly said she reminds him of Midnight Fever who won the race (in 1987) for dad and Craig Williams has always compared her to Miss Finland,” Hayes said.
“It’s pretty hard to not tip her when you get those comparisons.
“But I’ve got great respect for Tulip. She was beaten last start but it was a long time between runs and she’s been tuned up and Will’s Bid is a really good colt for the future and will be a horse to follow out of the race.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au