HALL Of Fame trainer David Hayes is adamant Extra Zero can turn the tables on Albury Gold Cup favourite Jacquinot Bay in tomorrow’s $170,000 feature.
The pair clashed for the first time in the Canberra Cup earlier this month where Jacquinot Bay proved too strong, winning the Canberra feature with Extra Zero just over four lengths behind in third.
Hayes said there were excuses.
“I think we can turn the tables on Jacquinot Bay because my horse lost a bit of ground when he wobbled around the home turn at Canberra,” Hayes said.
“I don’t think he will do the same thing at Albury.
“Tactically he should be able to settle handy to the speed and give a good sight in the straight.”
Jacquinot Bay has been installed the $5 favourite in TAB pre-post markets with Extra Zero on the fourth line of betting at $9.
Extra Zero, who will be ridden by Wodonga Cup-winning jockey Craig Newitt, won the Albury Cup two years ago and also finished runner-up behind Paddy O’Reilly in 2011.
The biggest query on Extra Zero is he has not won since snaring Albury’s premier race.
“It’s amazing that he hasn’t won since,” Hayes said.
“He has run either second or third on six occasions since then but just seems to bump into one better on the day.
“On paper it looks like another very strong country cup.
“There looks to be a number of chances where normally it is a race with only one or two chances.
“But my horse is in great order and while he hasn’t been on heavy ground before I’m pretty confident he will handle it if the rain comes.”
Extra Zero is aiming to become the first dual winner of the Albury Cup since the Brain Cox-trained Ekalaka who saluted in 2000 and 2002.
Hayes said he wouldn’t be able to attend the meeting with stable commitments in Sydney the following day.