Zanbagh Set For Villiers Stakes

Trainer John Thompson has confirmed that Zanbagh will head towards the 2015 Villiers Stakes at Royal Randwick on December 12 after she returned to racing with an upset win in the Cellarbrations Wyong November Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Zanbagh finished a close second behind Kirramosa in the 2013 Crown Oaks. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Zanbagh finished a close second behind Kirramosa in the 2013 Crown Oaks. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Zanbagh was transferred to the care of John Thompson after she failed to fire in five starts for trainer Patrick Payne during the winter racing period and she was well backed in the lead-up to her racing return following two barrier trial appearances at Rosehill Gardens on October 16 and Royal Randwick on October 30.

Jockey Kathy O’Hara settled Zanbagh in the second half of the field in the early stages of the race and she was still several lengths behind the leader at the top of the straight, but she flew home down the outside field in the final 200 metres to record her first raced win since she took out the 2014 edition of the Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 23.

Thompson was thrilled to see Zanbagh return to racing with a win and he confirmed that the Bernardini mare would head towards the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on December 12 and the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at the same venue on Boxing Day.

“She is a lovely clean-winded horse and is thriving in the stable,” Thompson said.

“Even after her race she didn’t have a blow at all.

“We will look at the Villiers Stakes and the Summer Cup with her now.

“Those races should suit her.”

Zanbagh made her racing debut under the care of Guy Walter in February of 2013 and she stamped herself as a horse to watch when she was narrowly beaten by Kirramosa in the 2013 Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m).

She made a slow start to her autumn campaign before she took out the Keith Nolan Classic and she went on to finish fifth behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and second behind Rising Romance in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 19.

Zanbagh was transferred to Patrick Payne following the tragic passing of Walter and she was unable to replicate her best form and was sent to Thompson after she beat home just a single runner at Sale on June 24.

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