Hayes to be Fozzy's first stable jockey
Chris Hayes will become Fozzy Stack's first stable jockey next year.
The Co Limerick native will form part of a growing team in Stack's Cashel stable as the rookie handler takes the reins at Thomastown Castle Stud, his father Tommy having announced that he will retire at the end of the year.
Stack is to get some horses that will be released from David Wachman's Golden stables after he called it a day at the end of the season just finished.
"I am looking forward to working with Chris after the Dubai Carnival and hopefully we'll have some good times together," Stack, 36, told the Irish Independent. "He was champion apprentice three times, is a rare achievement, and he is a Classic winner.
"Billy Lee, who had a brilliant season, will stay on in some capacity too and he will be used as Chris will still have the choice to ride for Kevin Prendergast when he so wishes."
Stack takes over after working most of his life alongside his highly respected father. About the new season, he is hopeful but typically realistic.
"It's a work in progress," he said, "and I am looking forward to it, while very thankful to the owners I have for their support. As ever, you're looking for nice horses. Dad might be retired but he is certainly not gone away and he will play a key role."
Hayes joined Prendergast in 2004 and his first Group One arrived when La Collina won the Matron Stakes in September 2013. Seven days later he had his first Classic success when Voleuse De Coeurs landed the Irish St Leger.
Hayes, 29, landed a second Irish Classic when Awtaad, trained by Prendergast, won the Irish 2,000 Guineas this year, the highlight of his career.
Ryan Moore, meanwhile, has admitted that Minding dug him "out of a hole" when winning the Oaks despite in-running traffic, a victory that played its part as she won the Cartier Horse Of The Year gong on Tuesday night.
"I am very lucky to ride the best horses," he said. "From the first time I sat on Minding, I thought she was a bit different.
"Credit must go to Aidan (O'Brien) and his team for keeping her going all through the year and performing so consistently and bravely every time."