Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra are hopeful Saturday’s Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington can provide a clearer picture on lightly raced three-year old gelding Marcel From Madrid.
Speaking to RSN’s Racing Pulse on Friday, Zahra told Michael Felgate the Danehill second-elect is coming along nicely.
“He’s going really well, really pleased with it” Zahra said.
“We had to have that three week gap in between his last race, it’s given us plenty of time to freshen him up a bit, but also pump a bit of work into him late this week, so he’s in good order.”
Marcel From Madrid enters Saturday’s race at $5.50 odds with Ladbrokes.com.au and resumes from his fourth place running in the McKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley late last month.
The son of four-time Group 1 winner Sepoy jumped from barrier six last time out, but will receive a much wider draw on Saturday from barrier 10. He was four-deep on the turn late in that race, failing to find any inside position down the straight.
McKenzie winner Brutal won’t figure in the Danehill, but runner-up Tavisan will. Mick Price’s speedy three-year old sits on the third line of betting at $11.00, while race favourite Native Soldier enters at $3.50 hoping to make it back-to-back wins following success in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago.
Similar to Native Soldier, Marcel From Madrid is also nominated for October’s $2 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in a month’s time. There’s no doubt Group 1 action is on the horizon for this horse, but whether or not Zahra chooses the Guineas or the $1 million Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington later in November is entirely up in the air.
“A bit of both,” Zahra told RSN.
“We’ll get a bit of a guide on how he goes up the straight, but also it hopefully takes the edge off him a touch, then we’ll go to Caulfield in two weeks and run in the Guineas prelude, and that will give us a guide on if we go up to a mile to the Guineas or the Spring and the Coolmore.”
Having run only three races in his young career, two of which he’s won, Saturday’s start also figures to be a learning curve.
“This is a bit of a stepping stone for him, he’s still learning, he’s only a young horse, lightly raced, has a fair bit of racing ahead” Zahra said.
The Danehill Stakes begins at 4:50pm EST. The full field can also be seen below.
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