Tag Archive for: Chris Hayes

Homeless Songs produces brilliant display in Irish 1,000 Guineas

Homeless Songs ran out a hugely impressive winner of the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Successful in the Group Three trial for this race at Leopardstown in early April, the Moyglare Stud Farm-owned filly was an 11-2 chance to provide Dermot Weld with a fifth victory in the race in the hands of Chris Hayes.

For a long way it looked like Aidan O’Brien’s 11-4 favourite Tuesday, third in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, was in the prime position and she moved to the lead in the home straight.

But having been ridden with restraint, Homeless Songs moved effortlessly into contention and found another gear once popped the question to quickly leave her rivals trailing in her wake.

The daughter of Frankel passed the post with five and a half lengths in hand, with Tuesday just beating her stablemate Concert Hall to the runner-up spot.

Weld said: “My only concern was whether she could carry that speed over a mile, but she relaxed beautifully for Chris and he gave her a most perfect ride.

“I said to Eva (Bucher-Haefner, of Moyglare) if she can carry that speed over a mile, she will win the Guineas.

“I’ll discuss it with Eva, but the Coronation (Stakes) at Royal Ascot would now be a definite possibility. She’s a great filly to have and the next day will tell us even more.

“She’s not the easiest to keep right, but when you have her right she is very good.”

A jubilant Chris Hayes
A jubilant Chris Hayes (Brian Lawless/PA)

On a poignant note, Weld added: “Pat (Smullen) won at stakes level on her dam and I thought of him today which is also his birthday.

“That is my 27th European Classic and my fifth time to win this race and every Classic is very special and difficult to win. She’s a very special filly.”

Hayes said: “There was talk that she would be better with a bend, and this and that. My only concern coming into today was would I get a clean run of things. Staying a mile and the ground made no difference as she is a special filly.

“It was nice to get the colts’ one (Irish 2,000 Guineas on Awtaad in 2016), now we have the fillies’ one. Any day you ride a Classic winner is a good day.”

Meade and Hayes combine to headline Naas action

Noel Meade and Chris Hayes dominated at Naas as Elysium won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Garnet Stakes and Lady Of Inishfree landed the Irish EBF Auction Series Race Final.

Elysium was bought by George Strawbridge having won a Group Three last season, but things had not gone to plan for her this campaign.

Off the track until Ascot in July, she was last of seven there, before finishing down the field at both Gowran and Cork.

However, Meade has his string in excellent condition at present and she arrived on the heels of the leaders a furlong out travelling ominously well for Hayes.

Emphatic Answer kept her honest close home but Elysium won by half a length.

Meade said “George bought her after she won the Group Three (Weld Park Stakes) last year and he kindly left her with me.

“We didn’t have a great run with her. I was hoping she’d run in the Irish Guineas but we never got a chance to train her for it.

“She got a lung infection in the spring and we couldn’t get her right. We had all sorts of problems and it’s only in the last six weeks she started to come right.

“She was a bit unlucky in Cork where she got into all sorts of trouble. I knew that every day she was getting a bit better.

“There is a race at Leopardstown next Saturday that she might go for and if not, this will probably be her last run for me as she might be going to the States.

“I’m delighted as he’s a lovely man to train for and he’s been very patient when things weren’t going right.”

Lady Of Inishfree with winning connections
Lady Of Inishfree with winning connections (Alan Magee/PA)

Lady Of Inishfree broke her maiden in the best possible fashion when winning the valuable Series Final.

As the filly by Farhh only cost €8,500, she was allotted just 8st 10lb as the weights carried are determined by their sales price.

That looked pretty generous given that on just her second outing she had outrun her odds in the Listed Ingabelle Stakes at Leopardstown when fourth of 11, beaten just three lengths.

Ridden confidently by Hayes, Meade’s youngster travelled with great fluency through the race, but so did Ger Lyons’ Corporal Violette.

It soon became clear the winner would come from those two and it was Lady Of Inishfree (7-2) who proved the stronger, holding off the 11-4 favourite by half a length. Seeingisbelieving was two and a half lengths away in third.

“We’ve loved her all along and that’s why we ran her in the Stakes race. I think she’s very good and she’ll be better on better ground,” said Meade.

“There is no question in my mind that she is a Stakes filly.

“She was eligible for this race and was getting into it well, so we had to have it in mind. The prize money is very good.

“She won’t run again this season and there is a chance that she could be sold. If we have her next year, hopefully she will go for good races.

“One of the owners, Eoin Banville, is in hospital at the moment after getting a kick and knocking the top off his thumb. It’s after getting infected so this will give him a bit of a lift.

“We were beaten a short-head with Layfayette in this race two years ago, so it’s nice to win it.”

Earlier Dermot Weld’s Pearle D’or (13-2) made a winning debut in the Tifrums Irish EBF (C&G) Maiden – also ridden by Hayes.

“He’s a nice, big horse, still very raw. I said to Chris ‘take your time on him, he’ll be a bit backward but he’s been working very nicely and I think he’ll come home well for you’. That’s exactly what happened.

“That’s it for the year with him and let’s hope he makes into a nice three-year-old for us. He’ll learn plenty from that.”

Michael O’Callaghan is keen to take Siesta Beach (11-4) to Newmarket for the Bosra Sham Stakes after she was rewarded for a series of solid efforts when winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

Romantic Proposal repels British raiders in Flying Five

Romantic Proposal saw off a strong British challenge to claim top honours in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

Six years on from saddling star sprinter Sole Power to claim the Group One contest, trainer Eddie Lynam was out to double his tally with Romantic Proposal, who was a 16-1 chance in a market dominated by the raiding party.

The narrow favourite was Archie Watson’s perennial bridesmaid Dragon Symbol, while Tim Easterby’s Winter Power aimed to follow up her brilliant victory in the Nunthorpe last month.

The Kevin Ryan-trained Glass Slippers also crossed the Irish Sea to defend her Flying Five crown, but in the end none could get into the first two places.

Winter Power set a furious pace for much of the way, but her challenge ultimately ended pretty tamely.

Dragon Symbol and Glass Slippers both looked dangerous racing inside the final furlong, but Romantic Proposal finished best in the hands of Chris Hayes to score by half a length from A Case Of You, with Glass Slippers third and Dragon Symbol fourth.

Lynam said: “She’d been progressing and has just kept on improving.

Chris Hayes celebrates winning on Romantic Proposal
Chris Hayes celebrates winning on Romantic Proposal (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Amy, my daughter, bought her as foal. I always believed that the way the filly was improving, she was capable of running a big race.

“I thought it would go to England, to be honest, but she did everything great.

“I think it’s six years since I’ve had a Group One winner. It’s nice to have another one.

“I’ve only 30 horses, so we’re smaller now – but the team work very hard, and we’re still passionate about it.

“Days like today are great.”

Mehnah sparkles on Rouge return at Killarney

Mehnah looked an exciting filly as she started to make up for lost time with an eye-catching performance to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes at Killarney.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained three-year-old overcame a wide draw on her return following a setback that prevented her from running in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The daughter of Frankel, who is a half-sister to 2016 Irish 2,000 Guineas victor Awtaad, showed her class in this Listed contest on what was only her third career start.

She was given a patient ride by Chris Hayes as Holly Golightly, Queen’s Speech and Thinking Of You were to the fore in the early stages.

Mehnah (2-1 favourite) improved her position steadily and came with a strong challenge on the outside in the straight to lead inside the final furlong.

Wearing the famous blue and white colours of Shadwell Estate, she won cosily by three-quarters of a length from Emaniya with Thinking Of You a length away in third place.

Hayes said: “She had an awkward, niggly injury 10 days before the Guineas and it was baby steps since making sure it didn’t come back. It is a muscle up high behind and she was very under cooked but fit enough for today’s level – we have her 75-80% fit.

“I’d imagine he’ll (Prendergast) want to go up in trip with her and maybe the Group Three over a mile and a furlong at Gowran could be a target. I think she is a Group One filly and I think she would be a good ride in the Matron or Sun Chariot.

“People don’t realise, but (from stall 16) you are basically on the road and had to cover a lot of ground. I got in as best I could but from two and a half furlongs down I’ve had to come widest of all and she has taken a blow.

“She is a very good filly.”

Newcomer Hermana Estrella claims surprise Naas verdict

Hermana Estrella was a surprise winner of the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas for Chris Hayes and Fozzy Stack.

A two-year-old daughter of Starspangledbanner, the filly was making her racecourse debut after being purchased for £42,000 as yearling.

The outsider of the field of seven, the bay started at 50-1 and cut through the field with two furlongs left to travel to take on leader Quick Suzy.

The two fillies locked horns from the furlong pole onwards, where Hayes’ mount slowly began to pull away from her rival to record a one-length success.

Quick Suzy was the eventual runner-up at 6-1, with 14-1 chance Missing Matron in third and Aidan O’Brien’s 2-7 favourite Contarelli Chapel finishing fourth.

“She’s a very smart filly and Fozzy doesn’t make entries like that unless they are good,” said Hayes

“She’s one of our nicer two-year-olds.

“She was green and raw as you would expect going against experienced company, but to me I was coasting and everything was going in slow motion.

“When Ryan’s (Moore) horse (Contarelli Chapel) faded away, I wanted to chase after Gary (Carroll, aboard Quick Suzy).

“She was green and ran around, but won with her ears pricked. She is one to look forward to.

“I sat on her twice at home, Mark Enright has been riding her in a bit of work and we have always held her in high regard – that’s why she had that entry.”

Layfayette seals fine week for Noel Meade

Layfayette came with a powerful late run to cap a fine week for trainer Noel Meade with victory in the Paddy Power Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh.

Meade, who is better known for his exploits over jumps, produced the shock of Cheltenham with Jack Kidder at 80-1 in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

Layfayette was much more fancied at 8-1 and delivered the goods under a patient ride from Chris Hayes, as he dropped down to a mile for the first time since July.

Quizical was one of the early leaders with Star Of Cashel, Agitare and In From The Cold among those close-up in the 24-runner field.

With the field spread across the course, there was enough room for Hayes to get through in the final furlong and stamp his authority in the race.

Layfayette went on to win by half a length from Maker Of Kings, with Comfort Line another half a length away in third and Star Of Cashel a neck back in fourth.

“It’s nice when a plan comes together. We’ve always loved him and I gelded him during the winter,” said Meade.

“I spoke to Chris the other day and I said ‘I think the mile is too short, will I put blinkers on him?’. I put cheekpieces on him and he said they made some difference to him.

“The first day he ran here last year the ground was very quick and it took him a long time to get over it as he was sore after the run.

“He’s quite a nice horse and hopefully he’ll be able to build on that.”

Noel Meade and Chris Hayes with Layfayette
Noel Meade and Chris Hayes with Layfayette (Niall Carson/PA)

He went on: “He’s not a hurdler, he’s not that shape, and he has quite a flicky action.

“A mile and a quarter will probably suit him better, and he was second over a mile and a half.

“He was entitled to win a good one because he’s been knocking on the door.

“I’m delighted for the owner, too, because he hasn’t had a lot of luck lately.”

Class tells for Lady Wannabe at Listowel

Lady Wannabe made the most of having her sights lowered with victory in the Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes.

Fozzy Stack’s filly had raced exclusively in Pattern company so far this year, most recently finishing down the field when a 150-1 shot for the Group One Matron Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown.

Returning to Listed level for the first time since winning at Killarney in August of last year, the daughter of Camelot was a 14-1 shot under Chris Hayes – and proved her class with a near two-length verdict over Aidan O’Brien’s Keats.

Hayes said: “She had a good run the last day in superior company.

“We followed them around – they went good and hard, and the ground was as quick as she wanted – but the drop back in trip suited, and the rain came, which worked out a treat.

“That is probably her ideal trip (nine furlongs). She probably didn’t get home over a mile and a quarter, and they were going a gear too quick for her over a mile.

“She was able to get into a rhythm today and hopefully she can do something again later on.”

Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning combined for a double on the card, with 100-30 chance Sheer Bravado landing division two of the Feale Handicap and Agitare justifying 2-5 favouritism in the Jet & Peggy O’Carroll Memorial (C & G) Maiden.

The latter was not winning out of turn, having previously been placed at Listed and Group-race level this season.

Una Manning, daughter of the winning trainer and wife of the winning rider, said: “He was due his win – it took him a little while, but it was a good performance.

“The boss (Bolger) is delighted with him. He will get further and will go to the horses in training sale later on.”