Colin Hayes commenced his racing career when he paid £9 for a steeplechaser named Surefoot. He trained him, and as an amateur rider rode him into third place in the 1948 Great Eastern Steeplechase. Encouraged by this experience Hayes set up his own stables in the Adelaide suburb of Semaphore, named them Surefoot Lodge, and in 1950 began life as a full-time professional trainer.
Hayes first Adelaide trainers’ premiership came in 1956, but he wished to expand the scope of his training and to make breeding a major part of his operations. Inspired by a visit to the UK where he had seen horses trained in a rural environment, he purchased Lindsay Park, an 800 hectare property situated 80km from Adelaide in the Barossa Valley. There he developed a world renowned training and breeding establishment which was to produce spectacular results.
When he retired in 1990, Hayes had won 5333 races and 28 Adelaide and 13 Melbourne trainers’ premierships. His horses had won 524 Group and Listed races, of which 90 were Group 1. Among the feature races he won were two Melbourne Cups, the Caulfield Cup, four Adelaide Cups, two Australian Cups, three Cox Plates, four Newmarket Handicaps, four Victoria Derbies and two AJC Derbies. His horses won over $119 million in prizemoney.
As a breeding establishment Lindsay Park was also highly successful. The stud was home to some of Australia’s most influential stallions, including Rory’s Jester, Without Fear, Zabeel, Jeune and At Talaq. Hayes worked closely with English owner and breeder, Robert Sangster, and together they were amongs the first to introduce the concept of the shuttle stallion to Australia.
"Colin was a super trainer - simple as that" (John Hawkes, trainer)
Image Source: Geoff Ampt - Fairfax Syndication