Luke Nolen aboard Dream Queen (Image: Racing Photos)
The training partnership of Ben and JD Hayes and New Zealand stallion Super Easy celebrated their first Melbourne Stakes winner as Dream Queen caused a minor upset in the $175,000 Listed PFD Food Services Crockett Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Ridden by Luke Nolen, Dream Queen ($13) settled fifth in the nine-horse field and in a busy finish defeated Our Heidi ($6) by half a head, with New York Baby ($4.20 favourite) a similar margin away in third.
"That was fantastic," Ben Hayes said. "She was a filly that we purchased from New Zealand from her race form and we've had a lot of success with New Zealand horses lately with Mr Brightside, Super Thief and now her.
"I thought it was a great ride by Luke (Nolen). Big congratulations to all the staff at home. To get these rewards is really big for us."
WATCH: Dream Queen Crockett Stakes win
Dream Queen was Nolen's second Crockett winner, having guided Australia's champion mare Black Caviar to victory in the three-year-old fillies sprint when it was held in its previous August timeslot. The race has been held on Cox Plate Day since 2012.
"On paper there was good speed and we were afforded a nice run," Nolen said. "When she got to the front she was a bit like she worked here at The Valley on Tuesday, she was all at sea a bit.
"She's a Stakes winner now and what she has been able to do while having a look around and doing a few things wrong and still win was very encouraging. I think they're going to have some fun with this filly - it is all upside."
Ben and JD Hayes have been training together since late June and Zayydani, who won the Listed Tattersall's Gold Crown (2137m) at Eagle Farm, had previously been their lone Stakes success.
Super Easy is a son of Darci Brahma, whose only other Australian Stakes winner was Easy Eddie, winner of the G3 Maurice McCarten Stakes in 2019.