WATCH: Limerick jockey kicks-off Flat season with big double success

Colm Kinsella


Colm Kinsella


WATCH: Limerick jockey kicks-off Flat season with big double success

Limerick jockey Chris Hayes is led into the winners' enclosure after winning the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes on Lemista at Naas Racecourse

LIMERICK jockey Chris Hayes enjoyed double success on the opening day of the Irish flat racing season at Naas Racecourse.

Shanagolden jockey Hayes took the €77,500 Group 3 Lodge Park Stud Park Express Stakes aboard Lemista for trainer Ger Lyons.

Hayes' mount, an 8/1 shot, finished three quarters of a length too good for Hamariyna.

Talented Limerick horseman Hayes had initiated his double on Monday when winning the seven furlong Naas Racecourse Business Club Madrid Handicap with another 8/1 chance In From The Cold.

The Michael Mulvany-trained three-year-old was picking up where he left off from last season, having won at Co Kildare track in November.

This was the fourth time in five seasons that 32-year-old Hayes has recorded a double on the opening day of the flat season. 

Hayes, who was champion apprentice jockey three years in a row between 2005 and 2007 rode his first winner on the track in July 2004 when partnering Anonymity to success at Bellewstown for trainer Ger Lynch. 

Hayes scored his first Group 1 success when La Collina won the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown in September 2013. 

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.

Hayes landed a second Irish Classic when Awtaad, trained by Kevin Prendergast, won the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh in May, 2016 and was again a big winner with Weld when Search For A Song won Irish St Leger at the Curragh last autumn.