Improving stayer Zephyron will step up to 2200m as he makes his Brisbane Winter Carnival debut in the Group 3 $125,000 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup at Doomben on Saturday.
Zephyron was also an acceptor for the Listed $100,000 W J McKell Cup (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday but the Hawkes Team chose the Brisbane assignment as the Zabeel five year old heads towards the Group 2 $300,000 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
Zephyron finally produced some of his family’s staying potential with a win over I’m Imposing and Secessio in the Listed $100,000 Fujitsu Air Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on May 10 and co-trainer Michael Hawkes says that there is more improvement to come.
“He’s working like a typical staying Zabeel, he was a bit keen last prep but this time he is more relaxed and going places,” Michael Hawkes told the Sportsman.
“It was a good win because he had to sustain a run from a long way out.”
Zephyron will be facing his toughest test to date when he comes up against tough proven stayer Precedence from the Bart and James Cummings stable as well as Pretty Pins and Danchai who ran the quinella in the Group 3 $125,000 Landfill Logistics Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) at Doomben on May 10.
Pretty Pins was a surprise winner at big odds for the John Thompson stable while the Chris Waller trained Danchai went down as the odds on favourite when beaten 2 lengths by the Pins mare.
Precedence is also on a Brisbane Cup campaign and showed that his old legs still have plenty to offer with an eye catching third to subsequent Group 1 Doomben Cup winner Streama in the Group 2 $358,000 Wimmers Soft Drinks A. D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.
Even though Precedence has been lumped with a hefty 59.5kgs and drawn barrier twelve in the fifteen horse field, James Cummings is still giving the eight year old a good chance as he heads towards the Brisbane Cup.
“He is a great old horse and you’d have to think he is right up there with the best chances,” James Cummings said.
“He goes back to a handicap and carries a bit of weight as well as drawing wide but the main thing is he will be peaking for the Brisbane Cup in two weeks.”
“He has pretty good form for the race and you’d love a genuinely run race and a good staying test.”
Precedence at $4 is holding a slight advantage over Zephyron at $4.40 in the Premier’s Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of Danchai at $5 and Pretty Pins at $6.
We then have to go out to $11 to find Kiwi mare Lauren Tate who finished fourth to Pretty Pins in the Chairman’s Handicap with Waldpark ($13) and Zennista ($14) the next two in the betting.