Colin Hayes Australian Horse Trainer

Colin Hayes

Colin Hayes Was Instrumental In Winning Thousands Of Races During His Career

If one wishes to shower praise on someone who has contributed a lot to Australian horse breeding and racing, none is more deserving of it than Colin Hayes, with an unequalled record of 10 wins in a day!

When mention comes up of Australia and horses, horse racing enthusiasts mention the name Colin Hayes almost with reverence.

Colin Hayes: Australian Horse trainer

He was awarded the OBE. And who deserves it better or more? With an unsurpassed record of training 5333 winners that included 524 Listed or Group winners, he justly be termed the top trainer of Australia of all time.

Colin Hayes Born In Adelaide In 1924

Born in 1924 in Semaphore, South Australia, Colin Hayes started his career as a boilermaker with the South Australian Electricity Trust.

His restlessness and deep love for horses inspired him to buy Surefoot, a steeplechaser for £9 and this was perhaps the starting point of his career in horse racing.

Colin Hayes came third in the 1948 Great Eastern Steeplechase, riding Surefoot. He obtained his trainer’s licence in 1950, paving the way for a great career. Then there was no looking back. “Surefoot Lodge” was the name of the stables he set up at Semaphore and he then went on to achieve his first win in the Adelaide trainers’ premiership in 1956.

Breeding Race Horses

Breaking new ground, he decided to venture into racehorse breeding, setting up operations in Barossa Valley, 80 Km north-east of Adelaide, by forming a syndicate. He was able to purchase Lindsay Park with a 38 room mansion in it.  He achieved this at the expense of losing several horses and reducing his stable to 16 from 40 horses.

His official career may be said to have started on 1 st August 1970 and then there was no stopping him for the next 29 years, reaching unparalleled heights in breeding and training of race horses, winning 13 Melbourne and 28 Adelaide Trainers’ Premierships in an extremely competitive and challenging environment.

The crowning glory is a world record of 10 individual winners in one single day, achieved on the memorable day of 23 rd January 1982, a feat never to be achieved by anyone in history.

Winning Thousands Of Races

Colin Hayes was instrumental in winning thousands of races, notable of which are:

  • VATC Caulfield Cup in 1976 How Now
  • MVRC W S Cox Plate in 1978 - So Called, in 1979 with Dulcify, 1989 - Almaarad
  • 1985 with Rory’s Jester got him the STC Golden Slipper Stakes
  • 1977 with Desirable, 1985 with Red Tempo, 1988 with Special and 1989 with Grandiose saw him lift the VRC Newmarket Handicap
  • VRC Melbourne Cup in 1980 with Beldale Ball and in 1986 At Talaq
  • Dulcify in 1979 and Bush win in 1974 helped him get the VRC Australian Cup
  • The VRC Derby was his four times: 1974 Haymaker, 1976 Unaware, 1978 Dulcify and 1988 Kings’ High
  • The AJC Derby was his in 1979 with Dulcify and in 1981 with Our Paddy Boy
  • SAJC Adelaide Cup in 1962 with Cheong Sam, 1972 with Wine Taster, 1980 with Yasmak and 1990 with Water Boatman

Horses trained by him went on to win innumerable races and become stud horses. Some of the notable horses are Romantic, Without Fear, Godswalk, Rory’s Jester, Zabeel and At Talaq. Dulcify, of course occupies a place of pride.

His sons David and Peter (now deceased) went on to become successful horse trainers in their own right but it is doubtful if their success would equal that of their father’s.

Colin Hayes earned over $ 119 million in prize money before finally retiring and handing over the reins to his sons David and Paul. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1995.

Success brought him accolades, fame and money but never dampened the fire of his spirit or his enthusiasm and love for training and breeding racehorses.