David Hayes


From a young age, David followed his dad around constantly in the stables and at the track, observing and learning from him as much as he could.

When he was old enough, he served a thorough apprenticeship by helping out in the stables where he experienced every aspect of the business. He spent time with the vets, and farriers, and he rode trackwork, strapped horses and mucked out stables.

After a brief flirtation with a professional sporting career - David was a State Champion Triple-jumper and placed third at the National titles. He also played in a premiership with Central Districts under-19s side in the South Australian National Football League, he joined the business full-time and began working side by side as an Assistant Trainer with his father from the age of 21.

David took over the training operation at Lindsay Park at the start of the 1990-91 season at the age of 28, following Colin’s retirement. During this first season, David won the Cox Plate with Better Loosen Up, set a world record of six Group winners in a day at Flemington on Derby Day and then won the Gr 1 Japan Cup with Better Loosen Up a month later.

In 1994, he won the Melbourne Cup with imported galloper Jeune and by the end of the 1994-95 season, David had won every Melbourne and Adelaide Metropolitan Trainer’s Premiership and racked up an amazing 31 Group One wins.

In 1996, David accepted an invitation to train in the world’s toughest racing environment, Hong Kong. He was an immediate success, winning two Trainer’s Premierships (in the top four in each of his nine seasons) and training 458 winners including the G1 Hong Kong International Sprint (All Thrills Too in 2002) and the G1 Hong Kong Derby (Elegant Fashion in 2003) and 15 other Hong Kong Group Ones.

David returned to Lindsay Park in 2005 and has since secured another two Melbourne Metropolitan Trainer Premierships, three Adelaide Metropolitan Premierships and trained a further 40 Group One winners.

In his 28 year training career, David has trained in excess of 4000 winners, including 95 Group One wins.

David is the youngest trainer ever to be inducted to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2008, joining his father Colin.

David is married to Prue and has four children, Ben, in the training partnership, J.D. and William who ride track work for Lindsay Park while studying and playing AFL and Sophie working in digital marketing.


Three generations of horse racing excellence