Geelong has been a godsend for racing and David Hayes isn’t the only trainer whose prayers have been answered on the synthetic track in the last month.
Hayes has produced two beautifully bred winners at Geelong in recent weeks and they will help revive Lindsay Park’s fortunes this season. Both are by Arrowfield’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice and both are raced by Sheikh Hamdan.
Maraaseem (3f Redoute’s Choice – Warm Smytzer by Zabeel) won her maiden at Geelong on August 19 and she doubled up at Sandown yesterday. Her dam was a Listed winner of the Geelong Oaks for Tony Santic in 2001. She holds an entry for the G1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on October 13 and will be an able back-up to the stable’s star Redoute’s Choice filly Shaaheq.
Maraaseem’s victory on the Hillside course came just 24 hours after stablemate Mukarrar won his maiden by 10 lengths at Geelong. He is a Redoute’s Choice brother to Sharkbite and Hayes will have much bigger fish to fry with him this season.
Lindsay Park and Sheikh Hamdan have a history going back 30 years to Melbourne Cup winners At Talaq and Jeune and Caulfield Cup winner Fraar. In recent years their success has continued with G1 winners Tawqeet (Kingmambo), Rewaaya (Singspiel) and Nadeem (Redoute’s Choice).
By his own high standards, Hayes experienced a “quiet” season in 2009-10 although winning $7.80 million in prizemoney and Group 1 races with Nicconi, Irish Lights and All American would be the catalyst for prolonged celebrations in almost any other stable.
Hayes is currently in the throes of completing a move from Lindsay Park to a $15 million training centre at Euroa. He would love to christen the complex with another champion like his Redoute’s Choice filly Miss Finland.
Once it’s fully operational, Hayes will come out fighting to recapture the Victorian trainers’ premiership. And he will have plenty of firepower with Sheikh Hamdan and Redoute’s Choice providing the ammunition.