By TONY REED, Racing Writer
TRAINER and jockey groups believe Sam Hayes should have been included on the list of nominees for the SA Jockey Club's election of new board members.
The groups, who are major racing industry stakeholders, yesterday indicated their disappointment that Hayes, the nephew of champion SA horse trainer David, was excluded.
Hayes's application was rejected at a recent meeting of the five-person SAJC board because he holds corporate, rather than personal membership of the club, as proprietor of Lindsay Park Stud.
The industry groups also were concerned about potential divisions within the new board.
The SA Trainers' Association executive, comprising president David Balfour, Karen Byrnes, Stuart Gower, Richard Jolly, Greg Lesnikowski, Joe Lockyer and Leon Macdonald, felt Hayes' involvement with the industry made him an ideal candidate.
"Besides our board, other trainers, breeders and owners, and even a few SAJC members, have told me they were disappointed with the club's decision not to let Sam stand," Balfour said. "He is the perfect candidate considering he doesn't carry any baggage into this and has no connection to previous boards.
"Sam also has a lot of money invested in the industry as a key breeder and owner and has a great family background in racing. He would be an asset to the board because of his marketing experience."
But Balfour said his executives' main concern was whether a new board would be unified.
"We don't care what the make-up of the board is, so long as it acts in the best interests of its members and the racing industry," he said.
Simon Price, SA Jockeys Association president, said: "He (Hayes) would have been ideal and given the board a younger view."
"He can relate to a broad range of people and the next group (of industry participants) to come through."
Voting information for the 27 candidates will be posted by the State Electoral Commission to members on Friday for ballot papers to be returned by May 12. Results will be announced at a special meeting of the SAJC the following day.