State title on Hayes' mind before HK shift

By: Craig Brennan Monday 1 June 2020

Lindsay Park senior trainer David Hayes will delay his departure to Hong Kong for as long as possible in the hope quarantine restrictions are eased.

Hayes, who trains in partnership with son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, is booked to fly to Hong Kong next month.

But anyone who travels to Hong Kong must undergo two weeks quarantine when they arrive.

"It's not confirmed yet because they keep getting cancelled," Hayes said.

"And with the quarantine once I get up there, that is also a bit up in the air.

"I'm hoping when I get there the quarantine will have finished and I don't have to spend two weeks in a hotel.

"The later I can go up the better, then I can start work on setting up the stable."

Hayes will open a Hong Kong for the 2020-21 season that commences in September.

It is a return to the Asian racing hub for Hayes who had a decade there, winning two titles, before returning to Australia in 2005.

Before heading to Hong Kong, Hayes would like to add another premiership to his resume.

Lindsay Park won last season's title, but it came with an asterix following the disqualification of Darren Weir.

Starting with Colin Hayes, Lindsay Park won 19 consecutive premierships from the late 1970s before Hayes took over the stable in 1990.

Peter Hayes won four premierships and Tony McEvoy one for Lindsay Park before Hayes scored successive titles after his return.

"Another premiership would be good, but it would be better for Ben and Tom as it would set them up nicely for next season," Hayes said.

"We've had a solid season without having a blockbuster."

Lindsay Park leads the premiership race by eight from Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

"We've got nice runners coming up, but if it gets really wet we might be in a bit of trouble," Hayes said.

"Every time it rains we have a quiet weekend and when it doesn't we get a few winners.

"They got to within one, we got it out to eight again so we'll keep aiming at it and see if we can hold them off."