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Ballarat Cup triumph for in-form Zayydani

Luke Nolan is all concentration as he guides Zayydani to victory at Ballarat. - Photo: Bruno Cannatelli
Luke Nolan is all concentration as he guides Zayydani to victory at Ballarat.

Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Five-year-old mare Zayydani has been one of the flagbearers for the training talents of Ben and JD Hayes, and the daughter of Savabeel continued her winning ways when a gritty winner of the A$500,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m) on Saturday.

The Hayes brothers, who are forging a career in their own right after their father David relocated to Hong Kong and former training partner Tom Dabernig went solo, have a soft spot for the mare, who was the first winner for the partnership and also the first stakes winner.

Having landed her long-range spring target of the Gr.2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington at her previous start, the Lindsay Park trainers treated the Ballarat Cup as a bonus for Zayydani, only electing to start the mare after she continued to thrive.

Bred and raced by Trelawney Stud’s Brent and Cherry Taylor, Zayydani has excelled under rider Luke Nolen, who has delivered ground-saving rides at her past two starts.

“I think it is full credit to Luke. She didn’t go around one horse again and that gap she took up the straight was very tight and she just showed how tough she is and she was so strong through the line,” a delighted Ben Hayes said.

“Along with Mr Brightside (another Kiwi import) she’s the pin up girl of the stable. Mr Brightside is the pin up boy.

“This is an add on. The Grand Final was the Matriarch and she came through that so well we thought we’d have a crack at the Ballarat Cup and gee she was impressive.”

Zayydani is now a three-time stakes winner and has enhanced her career prizemoney to A$729,725, with Hayes indicating the mare will return in the autumn for a tilt at a Group One.

Winning jockey Luke Nolen settled Zayydani three-back on the fence and took the shortest way home.

“I had to tie the mirrors in a bit today because it was a bit tighter, that gap, than it was at Flemington the other day,” he said.

“Credit to Lindsay Park, they’ve kept her in great shape and she peaked for that run at Flemington, but they kept her in the right form, we were afforded the right runs and she was very good again.

“She enhances her pedigree again.”

Zayydani is the daughter of Van Nistelrooy mare Ruqqaya, a sister to multiple Group One winner and now successful Waikato Stud stallion Ocean Park, while she is also the younger half-sister to Gr.1 Australian Guineas (1600m) winner Grunt, as well as stakes placed galloper Addison (NZ) (Jimmy Choux).

Zayydani’s granddam is Zabeel mare Sayyida, who was purchased by the Taylors as a racing and breeding proposition that has turned to gold.

A winner of two of her five starts for Roger James, Sayyida was a star in the making but suffered a career-ending injury in the 2003 Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2000m) and retired without the bold black-type she would have undoubtedly earned.

Ruqqaya had a filly by Super Seth this spring and is in foal to new Cambridge Stud stallion Hello Youmzain.  – NZ Racing Desk