Despite reports today that last weekend’s South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire would not continue onto Brisbane for the Queensland Derby 2012, connections have now hinted at a possible reconsideration.
The Leon Corstens-trained classy Zabeel colt Zabeelionaire backed up from a good Caulfield win to take out the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) as the $4 equal favourite at Morphettville last Saturday.
Immediately after the elite level victory Zabeelionaire was tipped as the horse to beat in the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day, Saturday June 9, during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Despite their spot at the top of the Queensland Derby odds at bookmaker.com.au managing part owner Brad Spicer announced on Twitter this morning that Zabeelionaire would bypass the Queensland winter riches.
Instead the horse would stay in light work heading towards a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting the 2012 Caulfield Cup in October.
While spring cup plans are still on the agenda Spicer has now admitted that they could go against their word and were still considering Zabeelionaire for the Queensland Derby 2012 after Gai Waterhouse withdrew top fancy Fat Al from the event.
“We were definitely not going but now Fat Al is out, we’ll need to have another chat about it,” Spicer said.
“We’ll see what Leon (Corstens) has to say about it but as of right now, he is not going but that may change.”
Spicer said the main reason for not pressing onto Brisbane at this stage was that the trip from Melbourne to Adelaide and back, and their big run in the SA Derby had taken a bit out of the promising youngster.
“He had a float trip there, a race and then a float trip back so the whole thing was done in four days,” Spicer said.
“He left a little bit of feed on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning but he has recovered really well over the last couple of days.”
With the Queensland Derby decision still pending Spicer admitted that at this stage they were more focused getting the horse right for a big spring but that they wouldn’t be ready for a shot at the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup over the two miles at Flemington in November.
“He’s probably not seasoned enough for a Melbourne Cup campaign but the Caulfield Cup looks the right race for him,” Spicer said.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest Brisbane Winter Carnival updates including whether Zabeelionaire does indeed run in the Derby.
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