Stats don’t lie: Hayes brothers take family back to top of two-year-old tree

Brothers Ben and JD Hayes have held back tears after winning Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes at Sandown with Little Brose, continuing a family legacy.

Their father David Hayes won the Blue Diamond a record six times, while grandfather Colin won it three times.

Little Brose, ridden by Michael Dee, wins the Blue Diamond Stakes on Saturday.Credit:Racing Photos

But after Saturday, Ben has his second and JD his first, with Little Brose’s jockey Michael Dee donning the Lindsay Park silks – made famous by champion Better Loosen Up – over the line. The trainers also had Arkansaw Kid run into the placings in third.

“I really thought he was good enough to win, and I’ve felt like vomiting all day,” Ben Hayes said.

“He’s a really exciting horse. I’m thrilled, I’m thrilled for the whole team … it’s good to keep that family tradition going and winning Blue Diamonds.”

Only a fortnight ago, the pair were stripped of a group 1 triumph when Gentleman Roy was relegated from first to second in the CF Orr on protest.

Trainers Ben Hayes and JD Hayes with Little Brose after the win.Credit:Getty Images

But Saturday’s victory was their second together at group 1 level after Mr Brightside’s Doncaster Mile success in 2022.

Last season, the duo had eight two-year-old winners from 61 runners, and only one listed winner among them. But Ben Hayes said the stable had made it a target to improve those statistics this season, and it’s paid off, now with eight winners from just 28 two-year-olds, and more than $2 million in prizemoney.

“We got our two-year-olds slightly wrong, and we changed a couple of things and I think our results have spoken for themselves,” Hayes said.

“We improved on that and I think it’s huge going forward. It’s very, very exciting, and I’m just thrilled for my whole family. We work so hard and to do it in our second year of the training partnership is a big thrill.”

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