Zanbagh is the new ATC Oaks favourite after living up stable expectations to win the $200,000 Keith Nolan Classic at Kembla Grange on Sunday.
As well as providing a result that again reaffirmed trainer Guy Walter’s affinity with fillies and racemares, the Group Three race also left no doubt Zanbagh is ready to avenge her narrow VRC Oaks defeat in the spring.
And jockey Shinn is convinced she is doing everything right in her bid to win the $1 million ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 19.
“I thought she had to come here today and win this race and she did a great job,” Shinn said.
Zanbagh firmed to $3.50 Oaks favouritism with New Zealand Derby runner-up Rising Romance on the second line of betting at $4.60.
The TAB’s Glenn Munsie said Zanbagh deserved her place as the Oaks favourite after she won in a manner that was contrary to her usual racing pattern.
“She was completely ridden upside down there … and all she has got to beat is the New Zealand filly (Rising Romance),” Munsie said.
“This Oaks has Wild Iris written all over it again.”
Zanbagh is the third foal of Wild Iris, the 2004 Oaks winner for Walter and long-time stable supporters, the Tait family.
Wild Iris had her lead-up to the Oaks when she won the Adrian Knox Stakes but Walter will use a Group One race to put the finishing touches on Zanbagh’s Classic preparation.
“She is a lovely filly on the way up and she’ll go to the Vinery Stakes now,” the trainer said.
A well-supported favourite, Zanbagh ($2.60) defeated Role Model ($21) by a length with Metaphorical ($18) a nose away third.
She gave Walter his fifth win in the race as well as his third for the meeting while Shinn completed a four-timer.
Among the pair’s successes was Last Wish who Walter hopes can step up to stakes company at the end of the Sydney carnival.
Last Wish posted his first win in five starts in a 1600m maiden with Walter hopeful the three-year-old can make enough progress before the end of his campaign to warrant a start in something better.
“I thought he could run well but I was surprised by how well he won,” Walter said.
“He’s bred to get over ground and there are races at the end of the carnival like the Carbine Club Stakes and the Frank Packer Plate so we will keep them in mind.”