Push Entire Spring Carnival Back: Hayes

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David Hayes

Lindsay Park senior trainer David Hayes believes the further the Melbourne spring carnival can move away from winter the better it will be for horses.

Hayes, who is moving to Hong Kong next month and trains in partnership with son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, does not see the need to alter the order of spring races, just their dates.

The spring carnival could be set for a shake-up this year with the Melbourne Racing Club exploring the option of running its Caulfield Cup carnival in late November instead of its mid-October date.

A date change would push the Caulfield Cup behind the Melbourne Cup as the Victoria Racing Club remains steadfast in its resolve to keep the Cup at its traditional date of the first Tuesday in November.

The delay to the AFL season because of coronavirus has pushed the finals series into October, the traditional time of the major spring races.

Racing Victoria is yet to announce the spring carnival program, expected early next month.

“I’ve said it for years that a later date is better for your horse the further you can get away from winter,” Hayes said.

“Horses always do better later in the year.

“The sequence of races has worked for something like 120 years, so don’t meddle with that, just move it back three or four weeks and keep it simple.”

Hayes said European horses have a big advantage when they come to the Melbourne carnival as they have campaigned through the warmer summer months.

Conversely Australian horses are coming out of a cold Victorian winter and beginning their campaigns in the cooler spring months.

He said horses are not as healthy in winter as they are later in the spring with the longer and warmer days helping bring out their best.

Hayes pointed out that some of Lindsay Park’s best results in the autumn had came from horses that campaigned at the Perth carnival in late November and early December.

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