Trelawney takes Matriarch with Zayydani

6 November 2021 Written by VRC

New Zealand’s Trelawney Stud is best known for producing seven Melbourne Cup winners between 1947 and 1971, but the Cambridge operation tasted Melbourne Cup Carnival success once again on Saturday as Zayydani produced a game victory in the Group 2 TAB Matriarch Stakes (2000m).

Zayydani, a half-sister to Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) winner Grunt, was bred by Trelawney Stud’s Brent and Cherry Taylor but retained to race. In their green, gold and red colours, the Savabeel five-year-old had won the Listed Gold Crown (2137m) at Eagle Farm and finished fourth to Russian Camelot in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.

However, the Ben and JD Hayes-prepared Zayydani scored her biggest victory yet on Saturday and sent her breeding value through the roof by taking out the TAB Matriarch Stakes, defeating the gallant Our Intrigue by a head with Starelle making good ground for third, a length behind the runner-up.

Luke Nolen, best known on Paramount+ Stakes Day for a decisive victory on champion mare Black Caviar in the Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) a decade ago, made what was ultimately the race-winning move by sticking to the rail, despite the fact that most races on Saturday so far had been developing up the centre.

“It’s the shortest way home,” a typically blunt Nolen said. “It walks alright and especially with a northerly (wind) it is no disadvantage to be on the inside fence.

“Mr and Mrs Taylor, they’re both great supporters of Australian racing and they’re breeders, too. No doubt they’ll be very happy. Zayydani has made nice progression this preparation and she’s a half-sister to Grunt, he had a liking for Flemington too.”

It was the first Melbourne Cup Carnival win for the Ben and JD Hayes stable, although the former struck success both with his father David and his cousin Tom Dabernig before the next generation training partnership launched the new era of Lindsay Park earlier this year.

David Hayes has had plenty of success at the Melbourne Cup Carnival during his career and shares the record for the most winners during an individual Cup week at 10, while his father Colin first tasted Flemington success in the early 1970s.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” JD Hayes said. “I’m just stoked for everyone at home and everyone in the team. It’s great to get a result and also for the owners and Trelawney Stud. She’s obviously very valuable now, being a half to Grunt, and she’s got a special spot in our hearts.

“She was our first winner as a partnership in a race in Queensland and she’s done a great job to come and hold her form into Cup week and to top it off with a Group 2 in the Matriarch is unbelievable.”

Image: Ben and JD Hayes with their first Cup Week winner Zayydani (Credit: Getty Images)