ANZAC Day Stakes goes the way of Tijuana

Mark Zahra gives Tijuana a well-deserved pat after the ANZAC Day Stakes

The market had it spot on in the first Listed race at Flemington on ANZAC Day, as Tijuana leads all of the way in the ANZAC Day Stakes (1400m).

The Ben & JD Hayes-trained two-year-old started a $2.60 favourite with online bookmakers after an impressive debut victory at Pakenham.

Now unbeaten after two starts, the colt by American Pharoah now has multiple options, with co-trainer Ben Hayes, suggesting Queensland could be an option, with a race like the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) a real possibility.

The two-year-old colt showed a good turn of foot to kick away from his rivals at Flemington under Mark Zahra, while Alcedo worked home well from the back to run second, with Foreign Raider and Perfect Thought catching the eye late over the 1400m.

“To buy a horse like this and win a stakes race at his second start and win like that is very exciting,” Hayes told

“He only improved out of that race (Pakenham debut). He’s just a horse that’s just kept furnishing, well put together.

“I was impressed with his manners; first-up he was a little bit colty, where today he knew what he was doing and today he had the race won a long way from home – probably stargazed a little bit when he got left alone, but still very strong to the line.”

Since the Lindsay Park operation lost David Hayes to Hong Kong and Tom Dabernig to a solo venture, Ben & JD Hayes have begun to reap the rewards, with a number of nice results over the past few weeks.

The stable recorded their first Group 1 victory with Mr Brightside in the Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day One of The Championships in Sydney, and they now are dreaming of another with an “exciting” colt.

“That was really exciting,” Hayes said.

“Have to have a good think. I guess there’s the Queensland options to go there, but I have to have a talk to the ownership group, the team at home and make that decision.”

2022 ANZAC Day Stakes (1400m) – Tijuana

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