Trio poised to break Lindsay Park's Guineas drought

5 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Blessed with a sudden depth of top-end 3-year-old talent, David Hayes feels any of the three Lindsay Park trio in Saturday's G1 Australian Guineas can win the $1m Flemington feature.

Two of the top three chances, Amphitrite (Sebring) and Hawkshot (Fiorente {Ire}), are trained by Hayes, his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, and both are new to the stable having transferred to Lindsay Park after Darren Weir's sudden disqualification.

It has been 12 years since Hayes won the Guineas with the champion Miss Finland (Redoute's Choice), but he will never have a better chance to break that drought, with Long Leaf (Fastnet Rock) also in the market after breaking through for a much-deserved win in the Karaka 3YO Classic in New Zealand.

"You don’t often go into a Group 1 having three quality horses, who all won their last start pretty easily." - David Hayes

"You don’t often go into a Group 1 having three quality horses, who all won their last start pretty easily," Hayes told RSN.

Co-trainers, David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig

"Long Leaf had to do it a little bit hard, but it was a million dollar international race, so they are in good form and their build up has been perfect."

Amphitrite already has the Group 1 credentials, having been successful for Weir in last year's G1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield. Her first start for Lindsay Park saw her record a dominant win in the G3 Vanity at Flemington two weeks ago and Hayes is confident of a repeat.

"She probably deserves to be close to favourite." - David Hayes

"She probably deserves to be close to favourite. We had her ten days going into the last run. She's a beautiful, leggy, elegant filly. We've left her at Flemington, kept her in her routine for the past couple of weeks and she hasn’t put a foot wrong," he said.

While she has only spent a month under Hayes' expert eye, the master trainer believes she has matured mentally as well as physically since her success in the Thousand Guineas, and she is a much more tractable racehorse as a result.

"I think with maturity, she is showing a bit more versatility. She doesn’t need to get back to last or be ridden a certain way Craig (Williams) was able to poke through on the inside last time and go through horses, and she did not have any hang ups on the inside of horses."

Shot from the front

Also showing maturity is Hawkshot, who missed the spring and resumed with a series of solid but unspectacular performances earlier in the summer. But ridden forward in his first start for Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig, he lit up Caulfield in the Group 2 Autumn S. last time, powering to a 3.75l win.

While the Fiorente gelding has drawn the very outside barrier on Saturday, Hayes is not concerned and believes Mark Zahra should be able to ride the horse to his preferred manner.

"He’ll definitely be heading forward. I was talking to Mark at the races last week and he felt that he hoped he would draw wide because he's an aggressive horse and when horses come up on the outside he can tend to overdo it," he said.

"The other day when Mark let him flow forward in a nice comfortable rhythm, he didn’t throw his head once and he dominated and demolished the field. I would say that Mark will come across in his own time and if he lobs in front, without spending too much petrol. He's going to be there for a long time."

Fit Long Leaf up to the mark

Fitness could be the key to Long Leaf's prospects having remained in work since the spring where he was stakes-placed several times but wasn't able to quite match it with the best 3-year-olds.

The trip to New Zealand, where he overcame a wide barrier to win the Karaka 3YO, has done him wonders according to Hayes.

"I've never seen his coat better. He's done a remarkable job because he has been in work since the start of last spring." - David Hayes

"I've never seen his coat better. He's done a remarkable job because he has been in work since the start of last spring. I would say there won’t be a fitter horse in the race and he should get a lovely run in transit from Jamie (Kah). He can run well. I think he's over the odds at $21," he said.

The strong hand Hayes has been handed in the Guineas has meant he has been able to send Fundamentalist (Not Single Doubt) to the Surround S. Rosehill, looking for a much-deserved Group 1 win, having been placed at the elite level twice during the spring.

"She's got form on that Sydney leg. In Queensland she ran a really good placing behind the superstar colt (The Autumn Sun). She never runs a bad race in fillies' class," he said.

Fundamentalist will race in blinkers for the first time in the $500,000 race.