IT’S the race befitting royalty – at least Ben Hayes hopes that’s the case.
Bold Sniper, owned by Her Majesty The Queen, will add a right royal flavour to this year’s Oakbank Easter Carnival when he makes his South Australian debut in Saturday’s feature Cup.
The seven-year-old gelding began his racing career in the UK before joining the famed Lindsay Park operation of Hayes, his father, champion trainer David, and cousin Tom Dabernig, last year.
He has had 16 starts for his new team, winning twice in Melbourne, and is considered one of the leading hopes in the $50,000 Oakbank Cup.
The Queen regularly speaks to David Hayes about Bold Sniper’s progress and there’s a good chance the champion trainer will get a pre-race phone call about the horse’s prospects in Saturday’s race. “She speaks to Dad before a race quite often,” Ben Hayes said.
“The phone rings and they say ‘it’s Buckingham Palace here. Are you available to talk to the Queen?’.
“Dad always says yes.
“She’s very knowledgeable and follows the horse’s progress quite closely.
“I don’t think she’ll be watching it live but, from what I know, she tries to watch a replay as soon as she can.
“We also send her links to videos of the horse’s trackwork sessions each week.”
And can Bold Sniper deliver an Easter gift for Her Majesty?
“I think he should go really well. He’s out to his right distance now,” Hayes said.
“It’d be fantastic if he could win. Imagine the Queen having a winner at Oakbank.”
Originally published as Royalty riding with Sniper in Cup
SOURCE: newsnow sport