A win to Fifty Stars in the Group One Australian Cup has added another memorable chapter into the Lindsay Park operation’s rich history in the time-honoured race at Flemington.
The European-bred Fifty Stars brought up a 10th Australian Cup win for the Hayes family’s Lindsay Park training operation which was founded by the late Colin Hayes, who won the race three times.
His son David, who currently heads the training operation, celebrated his sixth Australian Cup victory on Saturday with four of those coming in partnership with his nephew Tom Dabernig in the past six years.
David’s son Ben has also been part of the training partnership for three wins in the past three years with Harlem (2018/2019) and now Fifty Stars.
David’s late brother Peter Hayes also trained an Australian Cup winner with Istidaad in 1999.
The stable had four runners in Saturday’s 2000m weight-for-age feature including Harlem who finished fourth chasing an historic third Australian Cup.
But it was Fifty Stars ($7) who finished strongest under jockey John Allen to overhaul West Australian visitor Regal Power ($6).
Fifty Stars defeated Regal Power by half a length with Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare ($14) making an impressive return to finish another three-quarters of a length away third in his first start for 2020.
“It’s a real thrill,” David Hayes said.
“The whole team at Lindsay Park are here today, so to win the 10th is just a fantastic effort by everyone for a lot of years, over 50 years.
“I’m just thrilled.”
Five-year-old Fifty Stars secured a valuable first Group One for his future stallion prospects and it came a week after he won the Group Two Blamey Stakes (1600m) at the same track.
The Blamey win earned him a free ticket into $5 million All-Star Mile but Fifty Stars’ owner Gerry Ryan and the horse’s trainers opted to stick with the plan to run him on a seven-day back-up in the Australian Cup.
“We planned this race for a long time and those carrots can sometimes can throw you off,” Hayes said.
“But Gerry, in his wisdom, said let’s go for the Group One. We had set him for it and it paid off.”
Fifty Stars could still back up in next Saturday’s All-Star Mile at Caulfield but Dabernig indicated Sydney Group One races were more likely.
Dabernig said he was glad the Australian Cup was only a week after the Blamey, given how well Fifty Stars was.
“I was saying to some people during the week I was glad this race wasn’t in two weeks time because he was jumping out of his skin,” he said.
“And he ran like it.”