Special season for Rosscarbery jockey Brian Hayes

Hayes and Impervious delivered huge wins at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals
Special season for Rosscarbery jockey Brian Hayes

Impervious and Brian Hayes win at Punchestown recently. Picture: Healy Racing

ROSSCARBERY native Brian Hayes will long remember this National Hunt season.

The brilliant mare Impervious gave him his first-ever Cheltenham Festival winner in the Grade One Mares Chase and they teamed up again at the recent Punchestown Festival to land the Grade 2 Glencarrig Lady Mares Chase.

She completed a perfect five from five over fences for the season with an exhibition of jumping as she cruised to an 11-length victory.

Hayes also recorded a Cheltenham success last October aboard Dad’s Lad for the Whitegrass Racing Syndicate a horse he also won on in Limerick and Cork.

On Friday in the 6.10pm at Kilbeggan, he is booked to ride the Whitegrass Racing Syndicate’s latest acquisition Rule The Wind, previously owned by John Magnier. Rule The Wind showed potential when a close second in a Tipperary maiden hurdle recently, with seven lengths back to the third. He will be a leading contender to go one better here.

He is also booked to ride Parc Na Ngael for Charles Byrnes in Kilbeggan. A 223-day absence and a shorter trip than ideal suggest this might be a prep run ahead of a summer campaign. The market tends to be a reliable barometer as to whether Byrne’s horses are fancied.

Hayes lives in Leighlinbridge with his girlfriend Rachael Blackmore. One memory from last season was a battle royale between Brian on Impervious beating Rachael half a length on Journey With Me in an epic Punchestown Grade 3.


Friday: Kilbeggan, 8.30pm: All the big yards are represented in an above-average bumper for the track. Joseph O’Brien’s Joshua Des Flos was 3rd in a decent Punchestown maiden hurdle that has been subsequently validated by the first two. Croke Park a €150k Derby Sale purchase is an intriguing recruit for Gordon Elliott having won a Dromahane P2P from a smart Paul Nolan horse.

Friday: Nottingham, 5.15pm: Experience on testing ground might be pivotal here as Desert Master can go one better after a promising Ripon debut when second to Richard Hannon’s smart filly Ziggy’s Phoenix after a tardy start. The winner advertised the form landing the prestigious Lily Agnes Stakes at Chester on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Killarney's three-day May meeting starts on Sunday at undoubtedly the most scenic track. On Monday, Willie Mullins can land the featured Boylesports Grade 3 Chase with his selected from either of the Cork-owned pair Bachasson or Haute En Coloeurs Saint Sam is another Mullins entry.

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