Four-year-old mare Zanbagh, who shone in the autumn with a win in the Group 3 Keith F Nolan Classic (1600m) before finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), is looking for redemption this weekend in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) after a lackluster spring campaign.
The mare’s trainer Patrick Payne admits her spring season has been underwhelming but is confident she can redeem herself in the 2014 Sandown Cup, one of nine black-type races running at Sandown this Saturday on the final day of the 2014 spring racing carnival.
Payne will saddle Zanbagh for the two mile race following an eighth place finish last time out in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Saturday. She was just off midfield but was not going well enough and failed to offer any hope on the line, finishing second last.
“This preparation has been a bit of a flop; her last run wasn’t too bad but Sandown will have some give in the ground, so this should be a suitable race for her,” Payne told RSN radio.
“This preparation has been far from a fairytale; when we tried to get her fit and turn her on it all just went pear-shaped.
“I’d like to think we’re still learning with her.”
Before the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Zanbagh also finished end of the field in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 22, in which she was said to have respiratory issues. She also finished outside the placings in both Sportingbet Handicaps (1600m) in August and September.
Her only good finish in all of that was taking a minor placing from the Benalla Cup (2046m) on October 5, finishing third from Commanding Time and Correggio.
Zanbagh has been given a helping hand for success on Saturday after drawing a start from barrier three of 12.
Glen Boss has retained the ride on the four-year-old after saddling her in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
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