David Hayes marks Hong Kong return with first-day double

Horse Racing David Hayes trainer
Back with a winner: David Hayes wastes no time getting back on the Hong Kong scoreboard. Photo: HKJC

By Jon Lees

Hong Kong: The second coming of David Hayes to Hong Kong began as it had first time around – with a victory with his first runner on the opening day of his second spell as a trainer in the region.

Moneymore emulated Esteemed, Australian legend Hayes’s first winner 25 years ago, by winning a Class 5 handicap, the second race on the card, over 1,200m.

“It was race two and in Class 5, 25 years ago, so it’s a long time ago to remember but it’s a really big thrill,” Hayes said.

Hayes replaced local training legend John Moore to renew his association with Hong Kong. On Australia’s Father’s Day, he remembered his late father, the legendary Colin Hayes.

“This is really special because it’s a new chapter for me, it’s Father’s Day and I’m wearing my late father’s tie to bring me a bit of luck,” Hayes said.

Hayes ended the day with a first-day double after Hong Kong’s champion jockey Zac Purton won a driving finish to the Class 3 Lantau Peak Handicap on Metro Warrier.

“I was very pleased to have the champion on in the last 200 metres, he knows how to hit the line, Zac, doesn’t he?” Hayes said.

Hayes was champion trainer twice and sent out 458 winners during a near ten-year stay in Hong Kong. Star miler Beauty Generation is among the horses he has inherited from Moore, who was forced into compulsory retirement at the end of last season.

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