The South Australian Derby winner who was one of the most promising staying three year olds last preparation. Outside of him and Ethiopia, the crop hasn’t really stood up, but both of them look good stayers. This time last year, he was still a maiden who had just run fourth in the Victoria Derby. The Derby form looks weak now, but his was a strong performance which suggested he’d be one to follow in the future.
He came back in the autumn, and for a while he was extremely disappointing – he was fourth as an odds-on favourite at Moonee Valley behind weaker company. He proved, though, his ability was still there with an eight length maiden win at Geelong. He won a race at Caulfield prior to winning the South Australian Derby, before he went to Brisbane where he finished sixth in the Queensland Derby. This preparation, he’s hit the line strongly every start, but his last two – sixth in the Caulfield Cup and fifth in the Mackinnon Stakes – have really caught the eye.
Both times, the pace has probably played to his strengths, but he’s still made good ground. He should relish the 3200m and I’m not concerned by the outside barrier, as he would have gone back anyway. He has the sense of timing traditionally associated with Bart Cummings horses around this time of year – perhaps Leon Corstens, a one-time disciple of Cummings, has taken note and is finally applying the principles to the right horse. He strikes me as a strong chance, a definite chance. I’m including him.
$1400 IN FREE BETS on ZABEELIONAIRE
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Breeding: Zabeel x Kisumu
Bred in: New Zealand
Trainer: Leon Corstens
Jockey: Craig Newitt
Career Stats: 17:3-1-0
Last 5 Starts: 97065
Biggest Win: Group 1 South Australian Derby (2400m), Morphettville, 5/5/2012
Sportsbet Fixed Odds (as at 7pm, Sunday November 4): $35