Zeyrek gets the head down to secure Group 3 Craven Plate

Zeyrek got his nose down in time to claim the Group 3 Craven Plate. Photo: Racing NSW

Tyler Schiller and the Hawkes team combined with Zeyrek (+850) putting the head down to score victory in the Group 3 Craven Plate (1800m) at Randwick.

The six-year-old son of Sea The Stars was no match for Group 1 company in the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m) last start on October 14, but has bounced back supremely getting to a more suitable trip at Group 3 level.

Tyler Schiller had no choice but to drag back towards the rear of the field from barrier eight, but was aided by a moderately run affair, with the Annabel Neasham-trained Numerian (+290) trying to scoot clear at the top of the straight.

As the leader faded Skyman (+2500) cruised to the lead, before the swooping pair of Zeyrek and Renaissance Woman (+360) sat down to fight out the finish.

It was Zeyrek getting the verdict in the photo finish, grabbing a much-deserved victory at the fifth time of asking this campaign.

2023 Group 3 Craven Plate Replay – Zeyrek | T: Team Hawkes | J: Tyler Schiller

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes was on course at Randwick to represent the stable and gave credit to both horse and jockey.

“We’ve always had a high opinion of him,” said Hawkes.

“It’s just trying to get the best out of him. His runs have been really good this campaign.

“Today was a lot easier race obviously, Tyler just stalked them. When it got to about the 600m I said to my wife Claire ‘if he can’t win today he never will’.

“Tyler just nursed him and the horse found great late. It was like the real Zeyrek. He’s put in a couple of good preps now, typical European horse, they do just take that time. It’s a nice race to win, it’s worth $750,000.”

Tyler Schiller spoke about riding Zeyrek cold at the rear of the field, and it turned out to be a winning move.

“That’s where I wanted to be,” said Schiller.

“John and Michael Hawkes and the team said ‘he’s better ridden cold’. I knew there wasn’t too much pace today so to go back and make up that much ground, I think he’s done a terrific job.

“I was always confident following Renaissance Woman (2nd) that we were going to get the right tow into the race, it was just whether we had enough turn of foot to beat them.

“In the end he did and I thought he might’ve got there a little bit too soon but he was strong late.”

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