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David Hayes hopes to turn the clock back more than a quarter of a century when he chases a second victory in the Grand National Hurdle.
Now training in partnership with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, Hayes won the 1992 Grand National Hurdle with Hip Flask.
“It was quite a few drinks ago when we won the National Hurdle with Hip Flask and that was in my first season of training,” Hayes said.
“I’ve always loved the jumping.
“It gives horses a second chance and sometimes it sparks up their flat form too.”
When Hip Flask won the Grand National it was run at Flemington in July with this year’s edition to be run at Sandown on Sunday with Lindsay Park represented by Dane Hussler.
Hayes says Dane Hussler is a marathon runner who will be suited to the 4200m of the Grand National.
Dane Hussler was successful over 3600m on the flat at Oakbank in April and has had four runs since, three over hurdles, the latest when second in the Brendan Dreschler at Bendigo on July 22.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Hayes said.
“Her flat run was good before her last run which was really good and I think she’ll be competitive.
“The only thing is we don’t want it being too heavy. If it’s bottomless she’s not that good but if it’s rain-affected it won’t worry her.”
Hayes said Dane Hussler would have a short break after running in the Grand National Hurdle before being set for the Jericho Cup at Warrnambool on December 2.
The Jericho Cup is to be run over 4600m and will be Australia’s longest flat race.
Lindsay Park will also be represented at Sandown by Honey Steels Gold who failed to finish in the South Australian Grand National Hurdle on July 14 and will contest the benchmark 120 hurdle.