Trainer Leon Corstens believes Zabeelionaire will be at his best for the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday November 3, 2012.
Zabeelionaire will run in the 2012 Mackinnon Stakes in preparation for his 2012 Melbourne Cup run the following Tuesday.
The four-year-old secured a spot in the $6 million Cup with his Group 1 South Australian Derby win earlier this year.
Zabeelionaire finished an impressive sixth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup last start, proving to Corstens that he deserves a chance at Melbourne Cup glory.
The trainer feels a last minute run in the 2012 Mackinnon Stakes will be just what Zabeelionaire needs to prepare him for his Cup test.
Corstens learnt to run his horses in a race like the Mackinnon from his old boss Bart Cummings.
“That was the golden rule. They’d run in either the Mackinnon or the Herbert Power,” Corstens said.
“I was lucky enough to work with him through quite a few of the Cups (winning) horses.
“Let’s Elope, Gold and Black, Think Big…most of his ran in the McKinnon.
“I think what’s good for him is good for me. I thought Bart was a genius.”
The trainer is hopeful that the 2012 Mackinnon Stakes run will be the perfect way to ready Zabeelionaire for his first Melbourne Cup run.
“It will help the horse settle down a lot better for Tuesday, he’ll have a run under his belt, he’ll get plenty of mileage in his legs,” he said.
“He’s going to get plenty of room which should give me a good indication,” he said.
“He’s going to settle down nicely and hopefully he should have as much room as he likes at the finish.
While Zabeelionaire is assured of a start in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, he will still have to appear up to scratch in the 2012 Mackinnon Stakes before they accept for the 3,200 metre race.
“He’d have to run in the first four for me to be really happy,” he said.
Zabeelionaire has won three of his 16 career starts and has earned more than $550,000 in prize money during his career.
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