TALENTED Limerick jockey Chris Hayes rode his second Classic winner when partnering Awtaad to a thrilling victory in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.
Twenty eight-year-old Hayes, from Shanagolden, was always sitting pretty on the winner, who galloped all the way to the line to impressively beat Qipco 2000 Guineas hero Galileo Gold, the 5/4 favourite.
Awtaad, who was giving trainer Kevin Prendergast his first win in the race for 40 years, was returned at a tasty price of 9/2.
Afterwards a delighted Hayes said: "He's the best horse I've ever ridden."
Chris Hayes rode his first winner on the track 12 years ago when partnerning Anonymity to victory at Bellewstown for trainer Ger Lynch.
A first Group 1 success for the Limerick horseman finally arrived when La Collina won the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown in September 2013 and seven days later he enjoyed his first Classic success when the Lady O'Reilly-owned Voleuse De Coeurs landed the Irish St Leger at the Curragh.