Top hoop Glen Boss is looking forward to a strong book of rides at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Saturday including one of the best backed for the 2014 Brisbane Cup with the Hawkes-trained Zephyron.
Bringing Stradbroke Handicap Day to a close as Race 9 at 4:20pm, this year’s $300,000 Group 2 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) features 11 hopefuls.
Favourite at $3.50 is the Chris Waller-trained defending Brisbane Cup winner Moriarty ($3.50), coming off a win in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup over the 2200m here last Saturday, while Zabeel five-year-old Zephyron is hot on their heels at $3.90.
Zephyron has won their past two race starts backing up from a Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) win in Sydney to take out the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben a fortnight ago.
Boss rode them in the Premier’s Cup for the first time and was happy with what the horse showed him that day.
“He gave me the feel of a really good horse in his last race,” Boss told Racing Victoria.
It is promising form for the galloper not only for their Straddie Day assignment but also looking further ahead to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
A winner of five of their 15 starts to date, Zephyron has no Black Type form in Victoria but Boss believes that will chance this year with a race like the $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October not out of their reach.
Only lightly-raced for their age being a rising six-year-old with under 20 starts, Zephyron has taken time to come to age on the track.
Team Hawkes have taken their time with the promising stayer who kicked off their career with Mark Kavanagh before injury forced them to spend a year and a half on the sidelines from March 2012 to their return in October last year for their new stable.
They were only stepped up to stakes company by the Hawkes this April, their first effort a disastrous 11th when beaten 12 lengths in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick.
Their Lord Mayors Cup win followed however and now they’ll look to continue their good form in the Brisbane Cup and earn further talks of a big spring campaign.
“The Hawkes have been very upbeat with this horse,” Boss said.
“The thing is with these horses with the Hawkes is they look like they’re overnight sensations but they’ve spent 18 months getting these horses to the point where he can become an overnight sensation.”
Other notable Brisbane Cup hopes include Premier’s Cup runner-up Precedence and Eagle Farm Cup runner-up from last Saturday Mr O’Ceirin both paying $5 in what is a pretty open market at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Postponed six-year-old Mr O’Ceirin is prepared by Ciaron Maher who saddles-up equal favourite Srikandi in Saturday’s $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) who Boss also rides.
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