Cheltenham hero Hayes is star guest at Clon point-to-point races at Inchydoney

May 20th, 2023 6:45 PM

By Southern Star Team

Rosscarbery jockey Brian Hayes celebrates on Impervious after winning the Paddy Power Mares' Chase at the Cheltenham Racing Festival at Prestbury Park. (Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile)

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TOP local jockey Brian Hayes will be the star guest at the Clonakilty point-to-point races at Inchydoney Island this Sunday, May 21st.

The races committee will make a presentation to Brian, to mark his first Cheltenham Festival winner, on Impervious in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase, trained by Colm Murphy and owned by JP McManus. The combination followed up with victory in the Hanlon EBF Glencarraig Lady Mares Chase at the Punchestown Festival.

The past season also saw Brian riding his first winner at Cheltenham, on Dads Lad in October.

Brian has come a long way (and he says it has been a very enjoyable journey) since riding his first winner, aged 17, at the Clonakilty point-to-point races. The following year, he had his first victory on the track.

‘I rode both of those winners for Thomas O’Leary, a trainer who gave me a fantastic start in the game. He is from Clonakilty in West Cork, a neighbouring town of Rosscarbery, where I hail from, and they were great days,’ said Hayes in his blog.

Fast forward to 2023, and finishing the season with 23 winners, including eight for Colm Murphy and seven for Willie Mullins.

Brian is now a leading Irish jockey, mostly based at the Willie Mullins yard.

He has acknowledged the help he got from trainers such as Willie Mullins, Colm Murphy, Philip Fenton, Michael Bowe, James Dullea, Seamus Neville, Shark Hanlon, and ‘plenty more have been tremendous supporters of mine over the years’.

Already, Brian has been honoured with a Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star monthly award, and his local fans will get another chance to congratulate him on Sunday at the Clonakilty point-to-point races, which are scheduled to start at 2pm.

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