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Zayydani top weight in Easter Cup

Gr.3 Easter Cup contender Zayydani. - Photo: Bruno Cannatelli
Gr.3 Easter Cup contender Zayydani.

Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Zayydani will be the highest rated horse in the Gr.3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday as the Ben & JD Hayes mare targets Group One riches in the Queensland Winter.

The five-year-old mare, who races in the silks of Trelawney Stud, is coming off her best ever preparation last Spring, having run 4th, beaten a length in the Coongy by star mare Duais before going on to win the group two Matriarch Stakes and the Ballarat Cup.

After an eye-catching run in the Bendigo Golden Mile first up where she worked home well for sixth, Zayydani will be asked to carry equal top weight at 59kg in Saturday's Easter Cup at Caulfield.

Speaking with Andrew Bensley on SEN, co-trainer JD Hayes was keen to see her step up in trip on Saturday.

"She was excellent first up, and with the improvement that we know she'll take out of that run, I think she'll be very competitive on the weekend," said JD.

Going into the Golden Mile, JD suggested she is aiming to peak in late May, with group one targets in Queensland the goal.

"She looks very healthy and dappled up, and I think we're on the right trajectory with her. We're hopefully going to end up in the Doomben Cup. She went to Queensland last year and won a listed race… we felt like that would be the most suitable race to target."

"She's definitely strengthened and matured, and we think she's definitely benefitted from that good preparation."

The Hayes team also have Excelida, who was sold out of Trelawney Stud's 2018 Inglis Easter draft, heading to the Gr.3 Victoria Handicap on Saturday and JD was upbeat about their prospects.

"Excelida is currently 26th in line to get in, we're hopeful she'll get a run. Crosshaven has 54.5kg and he won't know himself carrying that weight," JD told Bensley.

Zayydani is currently a $26 chance with TAB for the Doomben Cup on the 21st of May. -RAS Newswire