Stradbroke Handicap on the agenda for Mr Brightside

It was less than nine months ago that the Ben & Jd Hayes -trained Mr Brightside was winning a lowly maiden at Geelong, but now the Bullbars gelding looks to have bigger fish to fry after an impressive Doncaster win at Royal Randwick last Saturday.

Posting the first Group 1 victory for the relatively new training partnership, the four-year-old proved too strong on the line for fellow Victorian I’m Thunderstruck with the Brad-Widdup prepared Icebath back in third.

Speaking with SEN’s Andrew Bensley on Monday morning, co-trainer JD Hayes explained it was pandemonium for the large ownership group once their charger had saluted.

“I was smack bang in the middle jumping up and down carrying on, so I enjoyed every second of it,” Hayes said.

“I’m not really an emotional person but when he crossed the line I did shed a little bit of a tear. It just meant a lot for everyone and he’s just such a terrific horse.”

“(He’s come) such a long way and in such a short space of time. I really do think this horse is going to be even better over ten furlongs.”

As to what the future holds for the now seven-time winner, Hayes was happy to put all options on the table. With the Brisbane carnival fast approaching, they may take a similar tack to what they did with a stablemate previously.

“There is a thought in the back of our head, but we’re going to have to go home and talk it through with the team and everyone involved, at a possible Stradbroke,” Hayes said.

“Just going up to Queensland instead of having a cold winter in Victoria, he might enjoy having a bit of the sun on his back.

“We had good success with Zayydani doing that last year then coming down. We’ll just to have to intertwine with his spring goals. There could even be a race in Hong Kong in December that might entertain him.

“It’s just so amazing to have a horse of his ability to work out all these plans, because it really is exciting with all these options.”

It was a Group 1 steer by jockey Craig Williams on the weekend too who had to overcome barrier 18 in testing conditions, a fact not lost on Hayes. Williams has now been in the irons for 11 of his 13 career outings.

“What an outstanding ride from the wide barrier, he put him in a perfect spot,” Hayes said.

“Couldn’t be happier putting Craig on the horse, he was so important when we were bringing him through the grades.

“He’s really got a good understanding of the horse and they’ve got a great relationship now.”

With the Hayes brothers’ father, Hall Of Famer David Hayes, now training in Hong Kong, they were more than happy to get one up on their accomplished dad.

“It was quite funny with dad cause he’s never won a Doncaster, the only thing we had over him was the Traralgon Cup. So the Doncaster is going to sit nicely now.”

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