Hayes excels on Getaway Gorgeous as partner Blackmore takes honours with treble
Brian Hayes enjoyed his most prolific campaign last season when nearly doubling his previous best with a final haul of 33 and his first win of the new season illustrated why he is on such a steep upward trajectory.
Riding what the market indicated was Willie Mullins' second string in Getaway Gorgeous, with My Sister Sarah sent off the 7-4 favourite for the Tourist Attraction Mares’ Hurdle named in honour of the Closutton’s stable’s breakthrough Cheltenham Festival winner, Hayes dropped his mount in and squeezed her through the eye of a needle when a mistake three-out compelled him to launch his challenge right down the inner.
Sean O’Keeffe did everything within his power to close the door on the runner-up Western Victory, but Hayes held his ground.
He got a good leap out of Getaway Gorgeous (11-2) to lead two-out and put them in a commanding position, which allowed them the latitude for a clumsy effort at the final flight.
Blackmore back on top
Hayes was denied a double in the novice chase when his Grand National-winning partner Rachael Blackmore completed one of her own aboard the Henry de Bromhead-trained Cavalry Master, who finished strongly to overhaul Pilbara.
Blackmore then promptly bagged a 32-1 treble when Gin On Lime (15-8) bossed the mares’ beginners’ chase from start to finish, winning hard held by 42 lengths.
The triumph, another for De Bromhead, saw Blackmore join Jordan Gainford at the top of the early jockeys’ championship exchanges on four wins. With Paul Townend expected to be sidelined for around a month, she will be keen to make the most of her title rival’s absence.
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