Superstar singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has witnessed a series of rare racing doubles on a day out at the famous Flemington races.
A cap-wearing Sheeran brought the star power to the corporate suites but the powerful Lindsay Park stable stole the show on Super Saturday.
The stable led by Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes took out both the $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap and the $1.5 million Australian Cup.
The doubles didn’t end there.
Jockey Regan Bayliss kicked off his 21st birthday celebrations by riding Redkirk Warrior to back-to-back wins in the Newmarket.
Michael Walker then guided outsider Harlem to an upset victory in the Australian Cup, marking the jockey’s second win in the Group One race.
It was the first time a stable has won the Newmarket-Australian Cup double since 2005, a feat that left co-trainer Ben Hayes on just as much of a high as a fan at a Sheeran concert.
“This is a fantastic day. I’m just thrilled,” said Ben, who trains in partnership with his dad David and cousin Tom Dabernig.
“It’s not every day you can win a Group One. To win two on one day is just fantastic.”
Sheeran joined music promoter Michael Gudinski in the corporate suite of Lloyd Williams, the most successful owner in Melbourne Cup history.
Gudinski has a stake in Williams’ 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin, who finished fourth in Saturday’s Australian Cup.
The Newmarket-Australian Cup ownership double went to Hong Kong-based Edmund Lee, who part-owns Redkirk Warrior and shares Harlem with a syndicate that includes David Hayes.
“Those colours have had a good day, haven’t they,” Hayes remarked.
While Sheeran is performing at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, Redkirk Warrior’s jockey will be enjoying his 21st birthday party.
Bayliss, who turns 21 on Tuesday, was revelling in his back-to-back Newmarket victories, a year after winning his first race at Group One level in the famous Flemington sprint.
“This is what you dream about when you’re a kid, standing in front of a big crowd on Super Saturday.
“It doesn’t get much better.”
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