Leon Corstens has decided to abandon Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival plans with his former SA Derby winner Zabeelionaire who won’t be bought back for the Caulfield Cup 2013 as was originally on the cards.
The now five-year-old Zabeel stallion was one of the top three-year-olds a couple of years back but has failed to really come on in their older seasons.
A close fourth to Sangster in the 2011 Victoria Derby, they are best known for their half-length Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) win in Adelaide over Sabrage the following May.
Things have been more miss than hit for them since however with Zabeelionaire failing to post another win.
In fact their only top three finish since their Group 1 success came this May at Flemington in an unlisted handicap over 2000m.
They were last seen finishing dead last behind Quintessential in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) in Brisbane back on June 1 which followed an also last place finish when 13th to the Chris Waller-trained Beaten Up in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).
Corstens had been planning to bring Zabeelionaire back for a spring campaign where he would look at giving them another shot at the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 after they ran sixth to Dunaden in the race last year.
A $126 roughie in the Caulfield Cup odds they have since been ruled out of the famous mile and a half handicap and the entire spring with wet weather tracks putting them too far behind the eight ball.
Failing to find a suitable early return because of what they thought would be rain affected meetings, Corstens has decided not to bring Zabeelionaire back this year and instead save them for a possible autumn return in early 2014.
“We’ve elected to turn him out thinking all we are going to get is wet tracks and then (last) Saturday turns out to be a good three,” Corstens said according to AAP.
“But what can you do?
“We just got sick and tired of waiting for tracks to dry out.”
Zabeelionaire may be out but Corstens is still very much looking forward to the spring with his Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel to kick off her $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) campaign with a first-up run at Moonee Valley this weekend.
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