UPDATE: The Mike Moroney-trained Tivaci has been crowned 2016 CS Hayes Stakes winner following a 2nd vs 1st protest.
First past the post Palentino was found to have caused interference at the 900m mark, pushing Tivaci six horses wide. Stewards found Tivaci would have been ahead at the post should interference not have occured.
Palentino has stamped himself as a serious Australian Guineas contender with success in the key form-indicating Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington Racecourse this afternoon.
Palentino failed to fire when seventh in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) first-up, but did his chances of success in the CS Hayes Stakes no harm when jumping well and settling in a good position within the talent-rich field of 12.
Receiving a good run in transit, the Teofilo gelding appeared blocked for a run rounding onto the final straight, but jockey Mark Zahra threaded the needle and found a gap between runners; the three-year-old responding with a big turn of foot to hit the line half a length ahead of Tivaci.
Zahra delivered a patient and good ride aboard Palentino in the CS Hayes Stakes and is confident the horse will be hard to beat in the Australian Guineas in a fortnight.
“They slowed right up mid-race and I got into all sorts of trouble,” Zahra said after crossing the line.
“When they had me collared in the straight he really fought back to beat them.
“Going into a mile, Tivaci got a half neck on me and I just loved the way he pinned his ears back and got him on the line.
“He still needs to learn just to calm down a little bit, but it was a great win.”
Trainer Darren Weir was pleased with Palentino’s performance to win the 2016 CS Hayes Stakes and is confident the horse will relish a step up to a mile for the Australian Guineas.
“The first 600m of the race he couldn’t have been happier but then I think it was Craig Newitt (Ready For Victory) took off around him and that sort of fired the horse up,” Weir said.
“Things didn’t go ideally from then and then probably halfway down the straight you thought he was in trouble but I guess he dug deep late and it was a really good win in the end.
“At the 200m mark he had to fight and he stuck his head out at the right time.
“I was a bit worried then because I thought he was going to run a battling third, but he got going late and it was a really courageous win in the end.
“He’ll benefit again from today because he didn’t really have a hard-enough run first-up.”
Tulsa bobbed his head at the right time to finish third in the CS Hayes Stakes this afternoon ahead of a luckless Lizard Island.
2016 CS Hayes Stakes Results
|1||12||TIVACI||Michael Moroney||Craig Williams||–||11||55kg||$10|
|2||4||PALENTINO||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||0.1L||5||57.5kg||$3.30F|
|3||11||TULSA||Michael Moroney||Mr Ben Melham||0.6L||12||55kg||$14|
|4||7||LIZARD ISLAND||Pat Hyland||Luke Currie||0.8L||4||55kg||$10|
|5||3||SOVEREIGN NATION||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damian Lane||2.3L||6||57.5kg||$17|
|6||2||BON AURUM||Ciaron Maher||James McDonald||2.5L||9||57.5kg||$9.50|
|7||8||TOP ME UP||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.7L||10||55kg||$26|
|8||6||RIVER WILD||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||2.8L||1||56kg||$6|
|9||10||PATCH ADAMS||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Declan Bates||3.55L||2||55kg||$91|
|10||5||READY FOR VICTORY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||3.95L||7||56.5kg||$12|
|11||1||GOLD SYMPHONY||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4.7L||3||58.5kg||$41|
|12||9||VOSTOK||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||8.2L||8||55kg||$10|