Zululand gave trainer David Hayes and jockey Stephen Baster a Group race double with a fast-finishing win in the Group 2 Henry Bucks Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington this afternoon.
Talented colts Boomwaa and Marcado took up the running early in the Sires Produce Stakes and both battled home strongly, but they were caught by the swooping Zululand who showed an outstanding turn-of-foot to score his maiden race win from Awesome Rock and Marcado.
Hayes, who took out the opening race of the day with Clifton Red, was delighted with the performance of Zululand and confirmed that the Fastnet Rock colt would head to Sydney for a tilt at both the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on April 26.
“You love to see these expensive colts produce and we had Wilderness come out during the week,” Hayes said.
“He is a bit sharper than this one, but over a mile I think this is a very competitive horse.
“He was on trial for the Sires/Champagne and if he was running on, looking handy he was going to go to the Baillieu and the Fernhill, so he has invited himself into the proper races.”
Hayes almost completed the VRC Sires Produce Stakes/Golden Slipper double with Von Costa De Hero in 2008, but the leading trainer said that Zululand was unlikely to take part in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and believes the talented colt would be even better when given an opportunity over a longer distance.
“This horse is a genuine seven furlong horse,” Hayes said.
“He showed a turn-of-foot today at seven that we weren’t seeing at six and I reckon that he could be a bit special at a mile.
“I just want to keep him in those races with not too much sprinting.”
Hayes was celebrating his third career win in the VRC Sires Produce Stakes after winning the 2008 edition of the race with Von Costa De Hero and claiming the race with De Lago Mist in 2006.
Placegetters Awesome Rock and Marcado are both expected to head to Sydney for the major two-year-old races during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and their respective jockeys Michael Rodd and Steven King were both happy with their mounts efforts.