"A 2YO that's three wins from three starts for the Hayes/Dabernig stable is sure to feature during the Blue Diamond. Keep an eye on this one! "
Unbeaten colt Long Leaf shapes as the best chance of delivering master horseman David Hayes - who trains in partnership with son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig - a record seventh Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) crown in 2018 after a faultless start to his career.
The son of Fastnet Rock boasts three impressive wins over 1000m and will tackle the Diamond next after his latest triumph in January's Blue Diamond Preview. Hayes, regarded throughout the land as particularly gifted with young horses, followed an almost identical path to the Blue Diamond with 2008 hero Reaan, who was given a month between the Preview and the Diamond. And Long Leaf could head to Sydney after the Festival of Racing for a tilt at the lucrative Golden Slipper or Sires' Produce.
We can expect to see the crowd favourite contend in races like the Black Caviar Lightning and Newmarket Handicap, before a potential trip to Dubai for the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup Night.
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An eight-time Scobie Breasley Medal winner, 'Ollie' is arguably Australia's best-known rider having won the Grand Slam of Australian racing and 110 G1's.
After winning the G1 Myer Classic at Flemington in spring, Shoals will line up in the G3 Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield on February 10.
A family trio, David Hayes' status in racing is legendary, however in recent years has partnered with nephew Tom Dabernig and recently son Ben.