Extra Zero

Extra Zero winning at Flemington at start No. 100 (Image: Racing Photos)

Hayes Extra keen about veteran's chances

David Hayes kept it short and sweet when asked for his best winning chance at Saturday's Finals Day meeting at Flemington.

But it was not the horse that most might have expected.

Hayes and his co-trainers, son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, saddle Charlevoix as favourite for the $120,000 Banjo Paterson Series Final, but it is a stablemate at double-figure odds he is most excited about seeing go around.

'Extra' was all the Hall of Fame trainer said when asked for his best hope.

'Extra', of course, is Extra Zero, who will contest the $100,000 VRC-CRV Cup Tour Trophy (2000m).

The soon-to-be 11-year-old returns to his favourite track - where he won two starts back, at his 100th start - and the way he went at his only start since, when a three-quarters-of-a-length fourth at Moonee Valley, that has Hayes confident.

"We took the pressure off going into Moonee Valley and if he got a clear run he might have won that race, so that just told me he's low flying," Hayes said.

"He's gone into the Flemington race with his usual Flemington routine, he seems to be acting right and we're pretty confident he's going to run a great race.

"He'll be his usual fantastic odds for the punters that follow him."

The son of Danzero, who will again be ridden by Jake Bayliss, was a $10 chance at 2.30pm Friday in the market headed by Show A Star ($4.20), who finished just in front of Extra Zero at The Valley.

Lindsay Park's leading chance on Finals Day is Charlevoix ($3.20) and while Hayes is confident the last-start winner will again run well, he said it is not a fait accompli he will be the stable's first runner home.

Also engaged for Lindsay Park is Bullish Stock, who finished third behind his stablemate last start, and Hayes said he would derive great fitness benefit out of that most recent run.

"Bullish Stock has made really nice natural improvement and we've popped him over a few hurdles going into this," Hayes said.

"He's on his fourth run, so I'd expect him to be better than he was the other day.

"He'll have to be, because Charlevoix dominated that race first time in blinkers and what I liked about his win the other day was he slightly overdid it early in the race and yet he still finished off and ran right away.

"I wouldn't swap them and I'm pretty confident they'll be fighting out the finish.

"Probably Charlevoix (is our best chance), but not clearly."

Charlevoix has the services of premiership-leading jockey Beau Mertens, with Luke Nolen to take the ride on Bullish Stock, a $9.50 chance.