Qeyaady, ridden by Mark Zahra, defeats Deluxe Legend at Sandown Hillside (Image: Racing Photos)
The advantage of race experience in two-year-old 1000-metre races was evident as Qeyaady resumed with an all-the-way victory at Sandown Hillside on Easter Monday.
Trained by Flemington duo Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes, Qeyaady jumped smartly from the second widest barrier in the 10-horse field and obtained the lead under Mark Zahra.
Qeyaady opened up the field shortly after straightening, leading by almost three lengths before getting weary over the final 100 metres, maintaining a head advantage on Deluxe Legend ($5) on the line. Race favourite Oryx was scratched moments before the start after the Godolphin colt played up in the barrier stalls.
"He's a nice horse, that's the first time I've been on him and he gave me a nice feel going to the gates," Zahra said.
"I was just going to ride him wherever he landed and his race experience showed a bit, I was two lengths in front shortly after the gates open so I just went from there."
"The second horse (at halfway, Askew) was probably a bit keener than me so I just… I hate sort of leading, sitting second inside another horse, so I probably had him at his top (speed) a fair way out.
"So he did a good job because I thought the last 50 metres he had enough but he just seemed to find enough when Sadler's horse (Deluxe Legend) came on the outside," Zahra added.
WATCH: Qeyaady win at Sandown Hillside
Qeyaady raced twice in November, finishing sixth behind Anamoe in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) over the course before finishing four lengths adrift of another Godolphin juvenile, Paulele, when third two weeks later over 1000 metres at Moonee Valley.
"It certainly wasn’t a disadvantage (having the track experience) from the Merson Cooper, he was far from disgraced in that race and the benefit of having that run and the next one at Moonee Valley certainly helped him today," Dabernig and Hayes' Flemington-based foreman Dara O'Meachair said.
"He was able to jump away cleanly and quickly, put himself on speed and controlled the race. He was probably looking for a little break after the end of the spring, he's matured well and done well, enjoying his time out and come back a lovely colt."
Qeyaady carries the colours of the late Sheikh Hamdan and was a homebred for Shadwell Racing, by I Am Invincible out of G1 Blue Diamond runner-up Shaaheq.
Shadwell Australia purchased Redoute's Choice mare Shaaheq for $350,000 as a yearling from the 2009 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
Shaaheq commenced her career with four seconds in two-year-old stakes races for David Hayes, including the Merson Cooper Stakes, before winning the G3 Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at Flemington at her fifth outing. She was unplaced from her following four starts before retirement.