Hayes leaves his rivals in a daze with superb Limerick four-timer
Chris Hayes took Limerick by storm yesterday as the jockey reeled off a fabulous four-timer - the highlight of which was victory on smart hurdler Katie T in the 12-furlong handicap.
Despite having to shoulder top-weight, Kevin Prendergast's mare - winner of the Boylesports Hurdle in January - was sent off 4/6 favourite and swept clear in a matter of strides at the furlong pole, easing three-and-a-quarter lengths clear of Prince Kup.
Just over half an hour later, Hayes had work much harder to land the one-mile handicap aboard Tim Doyle's Pushkar. The 28/1 outsider had been well beaten in three starts prior to this run, but she found an extra gear close home to edge out Private Party by a neck.
The afternoon had begun in the best possible fashion for Hayes who claimed the opening fillies maiden on Paul Deegan's Corail (3/1) which battled well up the straight to beat Dermot Weld's 1/3 hotpot Mulkeyya by a length and a quarter.
Hayes completed his four-timer by guiding 'outsider of three' King Christophe (4/1) to an emphatic victory in the closing 12-furlong handicap.
Joseph O'Brien was another jockey to continue winning ways as he followed up his first success of the season at Leopardstown on Wednesday by steering The Happy Prince - trained by his father Aidan - to victory in the six-and-a-half furlong maiden.
Installed 4/9 favourite to oblige, the son of Rip Van Winkle travelled well for most of the race but gave his supporters a big fright when veering violently left at the furlong pole before his jockey got him back and track to beat Gussy Goose by a length.
Jessica Harrington and Fran Berry have made a good start to the Flat campaign and the pair struck again when Neverushacon (11/2) got the better of Ceylon by a head in the 12-furlong maiden. The six-and-a-half-furlong handicap proved a good result for the bookies as the Mark Fahey-trained Jealika (25/1) took the spoils under Conor Hoban.
At Cheltenham, meanwhile, Tony McCoy was out of luck on his last-ever ride at the track as Milan Bound (10/3 joint favourite) failed to figure in the three-mile handicap hurdle.
McCoy settled the Jonjo O'Neill inmate in midfield for much of the journey before making headway to race on the heels of the leaders coming down the hill.
He looked in with a chance of securing a fairytale result jumping the second flight from the finish, but his effort petered out and finished a well-beaten seventh.
Victory went to Milan Bound's main market rival Aqalim, with John Ferguson's charge galloping nine lengths clear of Kingsmere in the hands of Aidan Coleman.
Galway native Paddy Brennan struck for a 305/1 treble courtesy of wins aboard The Govaness (3/1), A Good Skin (7/2), and Tobouggaloo (16/1).