Zephyron will be stepping up to 2400 metres for the first time in his racing career in the 2014 Brisbane Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday and co-trainer John Hawkes believes that the Group 2 event is a nice race for the progressive stayer.
Zephyron joined the Team Hawkes stable, after previously being prepared by Mark Kavanagh, in October of last year and the in-form stable have slowly bought the son of Zabeel through the grades.
The five-year-old won both the Harvey Norman Handicap (1500m) and City Jeep Patriot Handicap (2040m) during his spring campaign last year, but he made a slow start to his autumn preparation before returning to winning form in the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on May 10.
Zephyron made his Brisbane racing debut in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) and stamped himself as a leading contender for the Group 1 Brisbane Cup by scoring a comfortable win from Precedence and Pretty Pins; with jockey Glen Boss sitting up on the talented stayer a long way from home.
Hawkes told TVN that he has been delighted with the improvement that Zephyron has shown since he joined the Hawkes stable and said that he believes the Group 3 winner deserves to be considered one of the leading chances in the Brisbane Cup this weekend.
“We have taken him from a Class 1 to Group horse and he was flat-out running five furlongs when we got him,” Hawkes said.
“He’s going to a mile-and-a-half and it’s a little bit of a query, but he’s won at 2200 metres in the Premiers Cup.
“We’re happy with him, he’s trained on really well and providing we get a decent track on the day I think he should run really well.
“He’s a promising young horse and this is a nice race for him at this stage of his career.”
Zephyron is currently on the second line of 2014 Brisbane Cup betting markets at a quote of $3.90, while Chris Waller-trained Moriarty ($3.50) remains a narrow favourite from Mr O’Ceirin ($5) and Precedence ($5).
Hawkes is chasing his first win in the Brisbane Cup after finishing second with Spring Thaw (1991), third with Cross Swords (1994) and missing the placings with Fiumicino (2013), Sale Of Century (2002), Grampians (2002), Bombast (1999), Waikikamukau (1995), Cross Swords (1995) and Demerit (1993).