APPRENTICE Callan Murray is off to Melbourne to spend the next seven weeks riding for Australian Hall-Of-Fame trainer David Hayes.
Murray secured this opportunity through former jockey and current riding master at the Australia Jockey Academy Matt Pumpa.
“I first met him two years ago when he came to South Africa with the Australian apprentices riding in the Asian Young Guns event. Then he came over to South Africa a couple of months ago, we spoke about it and he managed to organise the whole venture for me,” said Murray.
“Of course, I’m very excited. I have only ridden in South Africa and Zimbabwe so the whole experience will be amazing.”
This is not the first time a South African apprentice will be riding for Hayes as Chad Schofield was also aligned to his stable.
“Obviously, I’m looking for riding experience and international exposure,” said Murray. I will try to pick up new things which I can use to my advantage.
“It will be interesting to be riding at tracks with different conditions, different horses and against other jockeys. They also have no false rail at their courses. “I know their stipes are very strict so I’m will need to be on my best behaviour.
“The last thing I want to do is get a suspension at my first meeting.”
In 2008, Hayes was the youngest trainer to be inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of his late father Colin, who was an inaugural inductee seven years earlier.
Hayes made an immediate impact in 1991, taking out the Cox Plate and Japan Cup with Better Loosen Up and training a world-record six Group winners on Derby Day. Five years later Hayes accepted an invitation to train in Hong Kong which is still regarded as the most competitive racing jurisdiction in the world.
He again had immediate success, winning two trainers’ titles and finishing top four in each of his nine seasons. He trained more than 450 winners and multiple Group 1 winners before returning to Australia in 2005 to resume training there.
He has won all “Big Four” races in Australia, the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup (twice), Cox Plate (twice) and Golden Slipper.
Piere Strydom had some dealings with Hayes and was very complimentary about the Australian.
“I rode quite a bit for him when I was in Hong Kong. He’s a top-class guy to work for.
“This is a great opportunity for Callan and I’m sure he will learn a lot from the experience.” – Tab News.