Special Ashburton win for Hay family
By Jonny Turner
Rebel Kibbybones scored an emotional win for the Hay family when grinding out a tough win in the Cyril Hay Memorial Trot at Ashburton on Monday.
Tears flowed when family members greeted John Hay in the birdcage after he owned, trained and drove the winner of the race named after his late father.
“Its real special, the whole family are here - the grandkids are here,” he said.
“They are all roaring and there are tears and everything.”
“It is a good one to win.”
Rebel Kibbybones’ victory could not have been more fitting, as Hay wore his late father’s colours while producing a heady drive on the 9yr-old.
The trainer-driver made sure he was not going to be unlucky in the race that meant so much to his family when angling out of the one-one at the 800m, before serving it up to the leader, Never Mind, on the turn.
“The one I was following wasn’t going anywhere, so I had to get handy,” Hay said.
“At that stage I thought I was a place chance, he kept grinding up the straight and got the win.”
“He is an honest enough trotter, when he trots he usually gets a cheque and that is him.”
Cyril Hay left an undeniable mark on the Mid Canterbury harness racing scene during his lifelong involvement in the industry before his passing in 2017.
The Ashburton win was the scene of one of his best training wins – when Doctor Bailey won the Cheviot Cup.
John was in the sulky that day and he looks back on the win fondly and credits his father for kick starting his career.
“He started my career off with Doctor Bailey and gave me a good start.”