On Saturday the David Hayes-trained colt Extra Zero collected his second career victory when he won the $180, 000 Group 2 Autumn Classic – The Yalumba 161 (1800m) at Caulfield.
The talented Extra Zero ($4.60) narrowly defeated Absolute Faith ($8), who had been caught up for most of the race but cleared away for a gallant second, by a half-neck with the Anthony Cummings-trained Money Rocks ($16) in third.
The $4.20 favourite Take The Rap could only manage fifth while the other fancied runner, third elect Salinas ($5.50) ran a disappointing second last.
It was back with the blinkers and back to winning form for Extra Zero after two ordinary runs this autumn. Extra Zero charged up the outside at the 800m with Glen Boss aboard to come from last to first after a brilliant late burst of acceleration in the muddling run event.
By sitting wide Extra Zero avoided the confusion that occurred around the 1000m, which caused a slackening in pace and trouble for a number of the other runners.
The victory gave Hayes back-to-back success in the Autumn Classic following his success with Stokehouse last year.
In a sad turn of events after the race, third placegetter Money Rocks had to be put down as the Fastnet Rock filly fractured her near-hind leg.
Hayes is now eyeing the prestigious Group 1 Australian Cup this Saturday at Flemington for Extra Zero. If the son of Danzero does back up his Autumn Classic win with a run in the Australian Cup he will be the only three-year-old in the $1million feature, but it all depends on how he pulls up over the next few days.
Ladbrokes.com.au have now slashed Extra Zero’s odds for Saturday’s Australian Cup from $15 to $10. Mick Price’s Heart Of Dreams remains the favourite at $7.
The long-term goal for Extra Zero is the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas on March 27, as Hayes seeks a feature race victory for the colt to secure his stud career.
The $500, 000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1600m) was the other Group feature held at Caulfield on Saturday and was won by brilliant mare Typhoon Tracy.
2010 Caulfield Autumn Classic (Yalumba 161) Results:
|Glen Boss||David Hayes|
|Dwayne Dunn||John McArdle|
|Michael Rodd||Anthony Cummings|
|Damien Oliver||Mick Price|
TAKE THE RAP (NZ)
|Craig Williams||Danny O’Brien|
|Mark Zahra||Michael Moroney|
PINS ON ICE (NZ)
|James Winks||Danny O’Brien|
CHILLED BY CHOICE
|Steven Arnold||Russell Cameron|
|Luke Nolen||Peter G Moody|
|Daniel Moor||Jim Conlan|