Ten-time Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Melody Belle...
Zanbagh has produced a perfectly timed sprint to successfully defend her crown in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Zanbagh drew ideally into the Emancipation Stakes field in barrier 4 and had the notable advantage of Hugh Bowman in the saddle, but the mare received only a sprinkling of bets to win the race in the hours leading up to jump.
Having taken a positive position in transit on the heels of early leaders Euro Angel and Rocket Commander, Bowman was clearly confident in the power that he had under him when he went for the whip 300m from home and the mare responded; locking in a fierce sprint battle with both Daysee Doom and Dixie Blossoms, but pulling clear late.
Trainer John Thompson was on hand for Zanbagh’s defence of the Emancipation Stakes and revealed that she may back-up into next weekend’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
“It was a great ride,” Thompson said.
“It is great to win this race with Guy Walter’s horse.
“She has been getting back in her races and running on strongly and I said to Hugh if we could be closer that would be nice.
“She gets through the wet well, but the key was being within striking distance and you knew that she was going to be the strongest late.
“She will back-up.”
Zanbagh has been a strong and consistent performer throughout her entire racing career, since debuting for Guy Walter in the early stages of 2013.
Having posted an impressive career total of seven wins and six minors through a total thirty-eight starts, the Bernardini mare resumed this time for second in the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m); running on for a credible sixth in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) in what was her only other start prior to this afternoon’s triumph.
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