Speedy filly Ruby Royal has a pedigree that will propel her to better wins than a mere maiden at Oakbank. The Lindsay Park speedster had been run down first-up at Moonee Valley last month and was cherry-ripe for a four length victory in the Crompton Lighting Maiden Plate (1050m) on Friday.
Ruby Royal (3f Danzero – Red Princess by Red Ransom) is raced by David Hayes with long-time clients Peter Devitt and Les Gordon and she carries the same silks as Group 1 winning half-brothers Nicconi and Niconero.
The trio hit jackpot with Nicconi (Bianconi). After victories in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington and The Galaxy at Randwick, he gave connections a final pay-out when Widden came calling about a stud career.
Niconero (Danzero) was a five-time G1 winner of the VRC Australian Cup, MRC Futurity St (twice) and WATC Kingston Town Classic (twice) and more than $3.44 million.
The Danzero connection has been a reliable cross for broodmare owners since he retired to Arrowfield Stud. Ruby Royal improved his record to 515 winners of 1609 races at a 63% strike-rate.
He got Niconero from a Scenic mare and Ruby Royal is from a half-sister to Flemington Listed winner Visual Displays (Scenic).
Ruby Royal comes from a family that has served Hayes, Devitt and Gordon for generations. They raced her second dam Princess Plume (Military Plume) to a G3 victory the 1994 Fashion Stakes at Caulfield.
Hayes will win more races with Ruby Royal but she will likely go down in the record books as the last Oakbank winner he will train out of Lindsay Park. He is about to move base from the historic Angaston property to Euroa.
The Hayes family have been racing at Oakbank for over 60 years. Popular legend has it that family patriarch Colin Hayes plonked his honeymoon money on Surefoot in the 1948 Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank.
Hayes rode the 60/1 longshot like a man possessed into third place and his each-way bets saved the day. He named his Adelaide stables Surefoot Lodge before a truly inspired transfer to Lindsay Park in the 1960s.