David Hayes thrives with a double on first meeting back in the Hong Kong pressure cooker

Early wins are everything in Hong Kong so trainer David Hayes was relieved to notch a double on the first day of his second stint in the Asian racing mecca.

Hong Kong punters and owners demand instant success from recent arrivals. Hayes was up to the challenge when he prepared a winner with his first runner back at Sha Tin on Sunday.

“It’s great because reputations don’t mean much if you’re not winning,” Hayes said.

“It’s a place where if you don’t kick off with your first winner, they count them.

“To get a couple of winners on my first day was good.”

Hayes returned to Hong Kong to train this season after spending 15 years in Australia. He left son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig in charge of the massive Lindsay Park operation at Euroa.

Trainer David Hayes with his Melbourne Cup runner Constantinople in 2019. Picture: Aaron Francis/The AustralianSource:News Corp Australia

Hayes continued a remarkable career streak when Keith Yeung rode Moneymore to win the second race of the Sha Tin meeting.

The Australian Racing Half of Fame member won with his first runner after taking over from his legendary father Colin, he won with his maiden Hong Kong runner in 1995 and his first runner back in Australia in 2005.

Hayes also prepared a winner with his first runner in partnership with Ben and Dabernig.

While Hayes enjoyed instant success on Sunday, he gave himself little chance of winning this season’s Hong Kong trainers’ title.

But Hayes added he expected his team to get stronger as the season wears on with the likes of Hong Kong star Beauty Generation to enter the fray later in the year.

“I’ve got an unbalanced stable, which is a good and a bad thing,” Hayes said.

“You want young and new horses, but I’ve got 53 of them.

“I don’t have enough established horses to really be a contender for the premiership because I’ve only got 18 that can race at the moment.

“The new ones will gradually slip in and I’ll be more consistently stronger after Christmas.”

Originally published asRelieved Hayes makes instant impact abroad

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