Chris Hayes enjoyed a double on the second day of Irish Champions Weekend in 2019, with victory in the Blandford Stakes and the Irish St Leger.
While he has no ride in the former and is on the rank outsider in the Group 1 staying prize, the top jockey still has plenty of chances of success in County Kildare.
Tote spoke to Chris to get his thoughts on each of his rides.
John Riggens - 13:45 - "Bold Lad" Sprint Handicap
“He’s a lovely horse. I’ve ridden him plenty at home for Eddie [Lynam] and his previous trainer Sean Hennessy.
“I think he’s a progressive horse who deservedly won the last day. The handicapper didn’t miss him though, and gave him a fair hike for it, but he’s open to any amount of improvement.
“The draw hasn’t been kind to us. You’re better off being drawn middle to high on the straight track at the Curragh, so we’ve a little bit of work to do from the draw and experience-wise. We’re pitching him in at the deep end here, but he’s definitely a horse to keep an eye on and has a nice future in front of him.”
14:20 - Blandford Stakes (Group 2)
“I’d imagine Love will take all the beating. Six and a half lengths behind Mishriff and three and a half lengths behind Adayar - that’s still proper form.
“The trip might be a little bit of a concern but I’d presume they’d ride her aggressively as she stays so well.
“I’d imagine Thundering Heights will be the one to give her most to worry about. I was delighted to see her win the last day. I had ridden a piece of work on her for Joseph [O’Brien] earlier in the year and loved her. I thought she was a high class filly that could only improve as the year went on. That being said, they’ve got it all to do to beat Love, even at this trip.”
Romantic Proposal - 14:55 - Flying Five Stakes (Group 1)
“This is a very good renewal of the race. I was unlucky not to finish closer on her the last day. I followed the form horses and they ran below their best. Gustavius Weston and Mooniesta both quickened down the left and I had to wait, so I imagine I would have finished closer were it not for that.
“She’s a typically Eddie Lynam filly, a slow burner who just keeps improving.She looks a million dollars at home and I’d be hoping that she’s taken another step forward again. Any rain that falls will improve her chances on the day.
“I’m happy where we’re drawn, in stall 13, with plenty of pace beside me which means I can slot in and try and get a toe. I’d say I’ll be hanging onto their coattails and hoping I can come home best.”
Seattle Creek - 16:40 Irish St. Leger (Group 1)
“We’ll call a spade a spade. He ran fourth in a decent maiden last time, but has got a mountain to climb here.
“This is a very good renewal of the Irish St Leger. I’d love to see Declan McDonough win the race on Twilight Payment and get himself a Classic win, but I’d say Search For A Song is the one we’ve all got to beat. I think Dermot [Weld] maps out a plan around the St Leger and will have her trained to the minute.”
Hardly Useless - 17:15 - Super Auction Sale Stakes
“I liked her the last day, and thought she was quite a nice filly. It didn’t look the strongest maiden on paper, but there was an 81-rated filly just in front of me and my filly was only beaten 3l so I thought it was a good run. This definitely isn’t the strongest renewal of the sales race and she has every chance of picking up a cheque.”
Mosala - 17:45 - "Northfields" Handicap
“I won the Nasrullah Handicap which would always be a decent handicap in the middle of the summer, over 10 furlongs on him. He got 7lb for that win and between the trip and the track last time out, he probably didn’t operate well enough around Galway last time.
“He’s been dropped a pound for that effort and has a nice draw on Sunday. I think he’s got a competitive chance.
“It’s the race I said to Henry to go for after he won at Leopardstown, thinking it was the obvious next target. I hope my advice was right and think he has every chance for all that it is a competitive race.”
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