Colin Hayes

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Colin Sidney Hayes (AM) (OBE) (16 February 1924 – 21 May 1999) was an Australian champion trainer of thoroughbred racehorses based in Adelaide, South Australia.

During his career he trained 5,333 winners including 524 individual Group or Listed winners. He won 28 Adelaide and 13 Melbourne Trainers' Premierships.

Early days[edit]

Hayes was born in Semaphore, South Australia on 16 February 1924. His father died when he was 10 years old. On leaving school he gained employment with the South Australian Electricity Trust as a boilermaker, but his love of horses soon led him to purchase a steeplechaser named Surefoot for £9. As an amateur rider, Hayes rode Surefoot himself with his best result being a third in the 1948 Great Eastern Steeplechase run at Oakbank.

Popular legend has it that Hayes bet his honeymoon money on Surefoot, which ran third at odds of 60/1, enabling him to recoup the money and a little profit. His wife Betty was apparently very angry about the incident at the time.

His son David followed in his footsteps and is a horse trainer. His other son was also a trainer, but Peter Hayes, who at the time was training Fields Of Omagh, died in an airplane crash in 2001.

Initial success[edit]

Hayes's initial moderate success with Surefoot drove him to expand his operations and he set up stables called 'Surefoot Lodge' at Semaphore. He won his first Adelaide trainers' premiership in 1956 but decided he wanted to expand his operations into breeding winners as well.

Hayes chose a place in the Barossa Valley approximately 80 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, with many people saying it was too far out of the metropolitan area to succeed.

A syndicate of people was formed to purchase the property known as Lindsay Park, an 800-hectare property of very rich pasture land and superb paddocks. The centrepiece of the property is a magnificent 38-room mansion built in 1840 by George Fife Angas from sandstone and marble quarried on the property.

In making the move Hayes lost several owners and promising horses, reducing his stable from 40 to 16 horses.

He officially began training there on 1 August 1970 and over the next 29 years created one of the most successful breeding and training establishments in the world.

A sign of his success is the world record 10 individual winners in a day, a feat he achieved on 23 January 1982.

Major wins[edit]

Amongst the many thousands of races won by Hayes and his horses were the following major race wins:

VRC Melbourne Cup

VATC Caulfield Cup

MVRC W.S.Cox Plate

STC Golden Slipper Stakes

VRC Newmarket Handicap

VRC Australian Cup

VRC Derby

AJC Derby

SAJC Adelaide Cup


Hayes also played a major role in the Australian breeding industry by standing quality stallions such as Romantic, Without Fear and Godswalk.

Some of the horses he trained also went on to highly successful stud careers including Rory's Jester, At Talaq and Zabeel.

External links[edit]