Zahra can’t split speedy stablemates
The Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra stable have been Melbourne’s most in-form trainers over summer and they hope to continue on their winning way at Flemington on Saturday.
The Flemington stable has four runners entered with two of their stable stars Prezado and Sword Of Mercy facing off against each other in the feature event, the Listed Kensington Stakes over 1000 metres.
In December they trained 15 winners and already in January they have chalked up ten winners including five in the city.
Zahra said they often targeted this time of the year with their team.
“It’s something we planned for. We had a quiet November but we knew we’d be up and going in December and build into the autumn,” Zahra said.
Zahra said he found it impossible to split his pair in the Kensingston Stakes.
Zahra said the challenge Prezado continually faced was having to deal with big weights.
“Because of his Flemington win down the straight as a three-year-old, he’s always had a high rating. He’s on 102 yet hasn’t won a Listed race or been placed in a Group race,” Zahra said.
“Fabergino has won three listed races and been placed at Group Two and Three level is rated 108.”
At their last meeting, Fabergino defeated the fast finishing Prezado by 3/4 length over 1000 metres at Flemington on December 12.
Again Melbourne’s top jockey Jamie Kah will be on Prezado and Zahra said he’s a different horse with her on board.
Kah has ridden Prezado five times for two wins, two seconds and a third.
“He can get fidgety and nervous in the barriers and then is slowly away but it hasn’t happened when she has ridden him.”
“He’s in good order. Had a soft jump-out last Friday. He’s got a good barrier draw for him as he likes a bit of room and there will be good speed.”
Zahra said if Prezado ran well, he would run in next month’s Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington.
“He loves the straight and that race isn’t always won by the classiest horse.”
Zahra said the weights were in Sword Of Mercy’s favour as she was getting 6.5kg from Fabergino and 5kg from Prezado but she had to prove she had the class.
Sword Of Mercy has had two starts this time in for a win over 1000m at Flemington in a Benchmark 78 and then a Benchmark 84 win at Caulfield over 1100m
“She’s always shown plenty but has comeback a better horse. She looks well in on the weights and she likes the straight,” he said.
If she runs well they will set her for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate.