Valac out to deliver Lindsay Park a Warrnambool first

Ben and JD Hayes will attempt a feat their famous grandfather and father failed to achieve during their long and successful careers.

Colin Hayes and later David failed to win one of the feature jumps races over the three days of the Warrnambool Carnival that kicks off on Tuesday.

Both always had a jumper in their stable but could not win the Brierly Steeplechase, the Galleywood Hurdle or the ‘big daddy’, the Grand Annual Steeplechase, although they each did win feature jumps in South Australia and Victoria including a Grand National Hurdle.

Admittedly those Warrnambool races were not high on the agenda for Lindsay Park who were, and remain, focussed on winning feature Group 1 races on the flat.

But Ben and JD have their chance to create a little piece of Lindsay Park history when they saddle Valac in the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) on Tuesday.

“We’ve always had a jumper, we don’t focus on them, but when we find one, we always like to have a go,” Ben Hayes said.

“CS had a lot of success, Dad had a bit and hopefully Valac can continue the tradition.”

Valac won the Champion Novice Hurdle at last year’s Three-Day Carnival and has made the switch to the bigger jumps this year with a winning return at Pakenham.

Hayes said the almost white gelding had taken to the bigger jumps well and importantly had schooled nicely over the Brierly course prior that Pakenham win on April 18.

“His first school this preparation was down at Warrnambool, and he handled it really well,” Hayes said.

“He’s been on the course before, so he’s had a look around and seems to know what he’s doing.

“For a 10-year-old, he’s lovely and sound, happy and his work leading into the race has been excellent.

“I think it looks a very winnable race for him. It’s an open year and if he gets the right run and the jockey doesn’t go to early, he’ll go close.”

About RS NewsWire

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