Guy Walter expects Oaks-bound Zanbagh to run well in the Surround Stakes as he did when she ran first-up in the Light Fingers.
What he didn’t expect after the Light Fingers (1200m) was to be attending a stewards’ inquiry into the tactics Blake Shinn used after the filly ran the fastest last sectional time of the day when four lengths ninth to Sweet Idea.
Stewards had concerns Shinn had not made a move earlier but after studying the times for the first part of the race agreed it would not have made a difference to the result.
The Group Two Surround is over an extra 200 metres, still way short of Zanbagh’s ideal distance, but the predicted wet track will be in her favour.
“If there is good speed in the race then I expect she will run on well but it is still short of her best,” Walter said.
“I expect her to run as well as she did last start. The pace will be the key but a wet track would certainly help her.”
At her only start on a heavy track, Zanbagh romped home in a 2000-metre race at Ballarat in October on her way to a close second in the Victorian Oaks.
Warwick Farm is home to Zanbagh and Walter who won the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes four times with Tie The Knot from 1999 to 2002.
Tie The Knot was raced by the Tait family who also race Zanbagh, a daughter of their 2004 Australian Oaks winner Wild Iris.
Although he doesn’t have a Chipping Norton runner this year with Appearance to be saved for next week, Walter is hoping Any Day Will Do can make her presence felt in the Group Two Wiggle Stakes (1400m).
The four-year-old was an eye-catching third in the Triscay Stakes won by Lilliburlero on February 22 after the trainer was forced to run her over 1200 metres again two weeks after he three lengths seventh in the Group Two Expressway Stakes.
“She went up 12 ratings points for winning the Goulburn Cup which put her out of the benchmark races,” Walter said.
“This is a more suitable distance for her.”