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Valley next stop for veteran Extra Zero

After storming home to register a special win at his 100th start, veteran Extra Zero will be out to add another successful chapter to his racing story at Moonee Valley.

The 10-year-old charged home at Flemington on May 20 to win a 2000m handicap by three-quarters of a length.

It was Extra Zero’s seventh win and he has also amassed 22 seconds and 10 thirds.

While the gelding is still racing well and showing the zest for competition and training, connections have decided to keep him going and his next start will be at Moonee Valley on Saturday in a 2040m handicap.

“He’s going around at the moment like he’s a young two-year-old,” co-trainer Ben Hayes said.

“He’s bouncing around and is so well in himself. He’s still got a great coat on him and he just loves being in training.

“He’s always enthusiastic, has his ears pricked in the morning working on the bridle.

“So he’s a great horse to train.”

Ben Hayes, who trains in partnership with his father David and cousin Tom Dabernig, said it was a thrill watching from interstate as Extra Zero won his most recent start.

“Dad and I were watching it at Morphettville,” Hayes said.

“We were very interested in our other runner Ventura Storm and out of nowhere he just came through and won.

“It was fantastic.

“I think it was really special because it (his 100th start) was really built up by the media, and everyone had an interest and were all watching him for that reason.”

Hayes said Extra Zero was one of his favourites.

“When I was learning to ride he was one of my normal rides every morning,” Hayes said.

“I was riding him when he was a two-year-old.

“I’d learned how to ride but he was one of the regular rides I used to have every morning. He’s been around as long as I have. He’s a great horse.”

Extra Zero did his final lead-up work on Monday morning and Hayes said the team was thrilled with him.

“He’s a horse who settles back, so he needs the speed on to be able to finish off, hence he’s had a lot of seconds,” he said.

“You need everything to go right to charge home, but we’re thrilled with him and hopefully he can repeat what he did last start.”

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