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SA Derby tilt for Zayydani

Zayydani will contest the Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) on Saturday. Photo: Ross Holburt/Racing Photos
Zayydani will contest the Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) on Saturday. Photo: Ross Holburt/Racing Photos

Trelawney Stud’s Brent and Cherry Taylor will be glued to their television screen on Saturday as they get set to watch Zayydani contest the Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.

The Cambridge couple bred the Savabeel filly and entrusted her to the care of the Lindsay Park training trio of David and Ben Hayes, and Tom Dabernig.

She won her first two career starts at Seymour over a mile before finishing sixth and runner-up over the same distance in her two subsequent starts.

She tackled stakes level for the first time at Morphettville last weekend where she finished seventh behind fellow Kiwi-bred Toffee Tongue in the Gr.1 Australasian Oaks (2000m).

Dabernig was satisfied with her Oaks run, but believes she should have finished a lot closer.

“She gets back and relaxes nicely, which is a good attribute for a stayer,” he said.

“We were slightly held up turning in (in the Oaks) and Paul Gatt (jockey) who rode her last week definitely thought she should have run a place.

“She was doing her best work late and wasn’t beaten far. It does look a competitive Derby though, probably a bit harder than last year’s and I am sure it is not going to be a walk in the park.”

The Lindsay Park team have made a gear change in the lead-up to Saturday and are planning to ride her for luck.

“She slightly laid in under pressure so we have put her in a one-eyed blinker (near side). She has drawn two in the Derby so I don’t think that will be an issue,” Dabernig said.

“We will just have her where she is happy and hopefully try and put her to sleep. We will need a little bit of luck in there, but over 2500m hopefully she will have her chance and put herself into the race.

“You have got to respect the form of the well-fancied runners in the market, but I know she will run out the 2500m strongly.”

While hopeful of a good showing from Zayydani on Saturday, Dabernig believes she will only improve with time.

“It’s only her sixth career start, so she is only lightly-raced with plenty of upside,” he said.

“She is certainly one to keep an eye on going forward, I think she is a good filly.” -NZ Racing Desk