The good times are rolling for Roger James and Robert Wellwood and further feature race success beckons the duo at Te Rapa on Wednesday.
Fresh off Orchestral’s stunning victory in the TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) at Ellerslie on Saturday, the Cambridge trainers are looking forward to Zabmanzor stepping out over more ground in the Gr.2 Legacy Lodge Waikato Guineas (2000m).
In between times, they have been busy scouring Karaka for fresh talent during New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale and secured four youngsters during the opening session on Sunday.
Zabmanzor has already enjoyed a lucrative preparation with a runaway victory in the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) and most recently finished strongly to run second in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m).
The son of Almanzor is out of the Savabeel mare Zaborei so, on pedigree, he looks well-equipped to continue his form over more ground.
“It’s pretty exciting and he was pretty good over a mile at his last start, so 2000m should be a sweet spot for him,” Wellwood said.
“At this stage, it’s a bit race by race and as we step up in distance it gives an idea of whether they will go further and he’s certainly one that we think who can.”
Zabmanzor holds nominations for the Gr.1 Trackside New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).
“Everything is still in contention and we think he can be a Derby horse, my gut feeling says that he probably is,” Wellwood said.
Zabmanzor’s half-brother Zaboraci, a son of Tivaci, will also represent the stable on Wednesday in the SVS Starting Gates Maiden (2200m).
“He hasn’t shown as much, but he is a horse with ability. Unfortunately, he isn’t the cleanest-winded horse and that let him down last time at Wanganui,” Wellwood said.
“He couldn’t finish it off, so we’ll ride him quietly and get him into a rhythm and if he breathes well, he’ll go a nice race.”
Meanwhile, Orchestral has progressed well following her Ellerslie success with her immediate future yet to be confirmed.
“It was a very special win and she has come through it nicely and given herself every chance to do even more as a three-year-old,” Wellwood said.
“It’s up in the air what we do next, the way she put them away over a mile has really made it hard and it’s opened up a lot of races for her, so it’s a nice problem to have.
“We’ll sit down in the next day or two and make a plan, there’s options aplenty.”
James and Wellwood purchased a quartet of youngsters at Karaka on Sunday with a daughter, Lot 63, of champion sire Proisir their highest-priced.
With the newly formed TAB Racing Club, they signed for the Elsdon Park-offered filly out of the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) winner Fairygem for $360,000.
“We bought some really nice horses and hope that one of them is as good as Prowess or Orchestral,” Wellwood said. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk