Zabeelionaire Set for Doomben Cup 2013 Comeback

After a failed first-up effort at Caulfield earlier in April, Leon Corsten’s Zabeel stallion Zabeelionaire will get their chance to atone as they continue to head towards a shot at the 2013 Doomben Cup this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

It has been a long time between drinks for the now four-year-old who hasn’t won a race since the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) last May, but Corstens is confident that Zabeelionaire can get back in the winners’ stall this campaign even after their disappointing return on April 20.

Highly-spruiked by Corstens pre-race the galloper ran dead last behind Speediness in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m), an effort they can only improve on when they race again at Flemington this Saturday.

Originally they were to head to Queensland earlier but the Caulfield set back means Corstens has opted to keep them at home for at least another week with Zabeelionaire to run in the $80,000 Cleanevent Handicap (2000m) this weekend instead of in the $358,000 Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast.

Their main aim this time in remains a top level one with the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) on May 18 still in their sights so long as they finish in the money second-up.

“He didn’t go well enough (first-up) as far as I was concerned to warrant a trip to Brisbane,” Corstens said.

“It costs a lot of money so you want to know for sure he’s going well before going interstate.

“He would want to run in the first three on Saturday.”

Looking to sharpen the horse up Corstens will add blinkers to their gear for Saturday’s race after watching them in a Cranbourne barrier trail on Monday when they finished second over 1550m.

“I’m putting a set of blinkers on him, most Zabeels race hell of a lot better in blinkers,” he said.

“I was pleased with his trial but not ecstatic.”

All the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Group 1 nominations including those for the Doomben Cup 2013 are due for release on Wednesday May 1 and will be published right here at

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