IMPRESSIVE filly Bulbula continued a remarkable tradition for the Hayes family when she effortlessly won the Merson Cooper Stakes today at Sportingbet Park.
Bulbula gave David Hayes his fourth win in the Merson Cooperin the past eight years and added to the success the family, which have won the race 11 times streching back to 1982.
Hayes won with Red Pluton (2005), Press The Button (’06) and Dinner Date (’10), who like Bulbula are all fillies.
David Hayes also won the Merson Cooper in 1990 with Canonise and Scarlet Crown (‘93) before going to Hong Kong.
Peter Hayes won the Merson Cooper in three successive years – Canon Song (‘96), Rosa’s Joy (’97), Real Jester (’98).
Colin Hayes, the patriarch of the family, won the race with Solo Performance in 1982 and Proven Valour (’86).
Hayes admitted he was surprised how effortlessly Bulbula, backed late from $14 to $13, found the front and cruised along in the lead to comfortably hold out Purrific, the $2.15 favourite, to win by one length.
Sidestep, backed from $5 to $4.60, was a further three-quarters of a length away third.
“She has always displayed some speed at home, but she got her own way in front and she kept kicking all the way down the straight,” Hayes said.
"I think she has a future. The Merson Cooper form can hold up from time to time and she hasn’t completely come in the coat yet so she hasn’t peaked yet.
“I’ll back off her now and train her for the autumn.”