David Hayes says the cheapest investment in racing is to engage an in-form jockey.
Lindsay Park’s senior trainer followed his own advice at Caulfield on Wednesday, combining with Kerrin McEvoy for a double, including the day’s feature, the Group Three Blue Sapphire Stakes with Formality.
McEvoy touched out the Lindsay Park-trained Vega Magic on Redzel in The Everest last Saturday and Hayes said when the jockey leads from the front he’s hard to get past.
Formality and stablemates Tulip and Catchy were three of Melbourne’s best-performed fillies as two-year-olds and Hayes said they had all trained on six months later.
Originally the three were on a path towards Guineas races, the Caulfield and Thousand versions run last Saturday, but only Catchy made it to the males race when finishing third to Mighty Boss and Kementari.
After running a fading 11th in the Golden Rose at Rosehill last month, Hayes decided to freshen her up the Melbourne carnival.
“She drew wide and we elected to go forward and unfortunately so did the rest of the field in Sydney,” Hayes said.
“To bounce back off that hard run is superb.
“Full testament to Lindsay Park. She’s been able to go out into the paddock, go on the water walker and has freshened up beautifully.”
Hayes said he was disappointed with his riding instructions to McEvoy in the Golden Rose and didn’t tie him down with too many on Formality.
“Today I told Kerrin to let her go under her own steam,” Hayes said.
“If they want to go hard follow them, if they won’t to go slow, lead.
“He’s a very hard man to get past as we found out on Saturday.”
Formality will now head to the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on November 4 where she will be joined by Tulip and Catchy.
Sent off a $5 chance, Formality dug deep to score by a long neck from Jukebox ($4.20) with Lone Eagle ($31) 1-1/4 lengths away third.
Craig Williams, rider of the runner-up, said Jukebox ruined his chances by over-racing early in the race.
“She (Formality) was a lot smoother and relaxed through the race whereas mine really wanted to get on with the race and that could quite easily have been the margin he was beaten,” Williams said.