G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes goal for in-form Zeyrek

Rejuvenated gelding Zeyrek might have earned himself a shot at the country’s best middle-distance horses after racing to his second win from three starts this preparation.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said the horse would now be considered for a start in next month’s $5 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes after outclassing his rivals in Saturday’s Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m).

Stablemate Mount Popa won the corresponding Rosehill race last year before finishing third to Think It Over in the Queen Elizabeth and Hawkes believes Zeyrek is going equally as well.

“The form is there and this bloke, he’s going probably every part as good as Mount Popa,” Hawkes said.

“Who knows? He might run in the QE (Queen Elizabeth).

“We’ve tried to stretch him out over a bit of ground, but he’s just got such a good turn of foot. He’s very explosive, especially over 2000 at Randwick, I think he’s going to be something special.

“I know it’s going to be a tough race but it’s there and we’ll decide as we get closer, but it’s pretty exciting to have a horse of this quality.

“He has really turned the corner this bloke and he’s got a lot in store for him.”

Zeyrek started his career in France and showed promise at his initial Australian campaigns before a brief but indifferent spring.

Team Hawkes has been much happier with him this time around and it has been reflected in his form.

Winning jockey Tim Clark said he had to go back on Zeyrek ($3.60 unibet fav) from a wide draw and spot main danger Sunshine Rising ($4.60) a headstart, but was able to comfortably reel in the runner-up and score by a length with Gear Up ($7.50) another 1-1/2 lengths away third.

“I just had to trust how well the horse is going, ride him to his pattern, and have faith that he had enough turn of foot to pick them up, which he did,” Clark said.

“He’s obviously returned a really good horse this time in, he’s been very consistent and racing really well.”

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is at Randwick on April 8.

About RS NewsWire

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