Zara Bay was beaten on debut, but that has not stopped Team Hawkes including the lightly-raced filly in the 2015 BRC Sires Produce Stakes field and she is set to make the trip to Queensland to contest the Group 2 event at Doomben on Saturday.
Zara Bay performed well in two barrier trials ahead of her racing debut in the Cellarbrations Maiden Plate (1250m) at Canterbury on May 13 and she was only narrowly beaten by the highly-rated Who’s Gorgerous and Pedrille after taking up the running in the early stages of the race.
The Fastnet Rock filly is out of 2003 Sweet Shadow Stakes winner and Group 1 placegetter Legally Bay and Hawkes told Racing Ahead that he has been surprised by the precociousness of the two-year-old and is interested to see how she will fare against stiff competition in the 2015 BRC Sires Produce Stakes this weekend.
“Straight after the races I was watching the interview and James Cummings said that they had a big opinion of the winner and that always makes you feel a bit better after the race,” Hawkes said.
“She was a home-bred that they kept, she would have been a start at the Inglis Easter Sale, but they decided to keep her and she is definitely an a-grader on type and pedigree and she was only beaten by a bob of the head.
“She is a lovely filly going somewhere, she has only had the one run and there are very few Fastnet Rock’s that win at two.
“She hasn’t won at two, but there are very few Fastnet Rock’s that even get there at two, she has got there early and her Mum was a good sprinter that ran second in The Galaxy, but she took a fair while to come.”
Team Hawkes regular jockey Tommy Berry has been booked to ride Single Gaze in the 2015 Sires Produce Stakes and Glen Boss has been booked to ride Zara Bay in the $250,000 event this weekend.
The 2015 BRC Sires Produce Stakes field was released this morning and Zara Bay is set to take on the likes of Champagne Stakes winner Blueberry Hill (barrier ten), Chris Munce-trained Wicked Intent (barrier 14), the promising Counterattack (barrier six), Magic Millions Classic runner-up Pepperano (barrier 13), last start winner Princes Charm (barrier nine) and Stuart Kendrick-trained Typing (barrier 11).