Victorian trainer David Hayes has very fond memories of Miss Finland and hopes to win this year’s Golden Slipper 2015 with one of the mighty mare’s progeny Stay With Me who debuts this weekend.
Owner-breeder John Messara sent Hayes Redoute’s Choice filly Miss Finland in 2005 with the superstar winning the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), now the world’s richest race for juveniles worth $3.5 million, at just her fifth start in 2006 by a commanding four and a half lengths.
Miss Finland, who even before she’d raced was stamped by Messara as the best horse Hayes would train, went on to stamp herself as one of the greats with subsequent Group 1 wins in the 2006 Thousand Guineas, 2006 Crown Oaks, 2007 Arrowfield Stud Stakes and 2007 Cadbury Guineas.
In the end she won 11 of her 26 starts for $4.6 million in prize money having sent Hayes on one hell of a ride.
The Lindsay Park-based Hayes, who now co-trains with his nephew Tom Dabernig, has been sent another promising filly from Messara a daughter of Miss Finland named Stay With Me.
“John Messara rang me and told me he was sending me a very, very good one,” Hayes told the Herald Sun this week.
“When he sent me Miss Finland I’d just got back from Hong Kong and he told me he was going to send me my best horse.”
There’s plenty of hype surrounding the Street Cry filly’s debut run this Saturday on Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Day as she races in Flemington’s $120,000 Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m), the same race her dam won at her second career start 11 years ago.
Hayes will put Stay With Me on a similar path to her famous mother with an eventual trip to Sydney on the cards for a shot at the Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 the big autumn aim at this stage.
“She is a beautifully bred filly and is very dearly close to my heart through her mother who was one of my highest favourites,” Hayes said.
She must first live up to the hype however in the Talindert Stakes, nominations for which feature a classy line-up of potential rivals including Flemington winner Ragazzo Del Corsa, the fellow Hayes & Dabernig-trained Claudia Jean, Inglis 2YO Premier third placed Jameka and Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes third placed Brooklyn for Gai Waterhouse.
Hayes’ prediction is that the further she steps out the better Stay With Me will perform so, all going well in the Talindert, he’s scheduled a second-up run in the $150,000 Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes back at Flemington on March 14 to help her get into the Golden Slipper.
“She looks she has talent and the further she goes, the better she’ll be,” he said.
“I am not saying she is as good as her mum, but her track work is very encouraging.”
In futures Golden Slipper betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au Stay With Me is yet to be listed, the markets led by Ottoman and Vancouver who face off in Sydney’s $250,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
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