The highly-regarded Zonza is likely to be given opportunities in Australia to fully realise the potential she has showed in a brief domestic career.
The Roger James-prepared four-year-old has been patiently handled and was an impressive second-up winner at Hastings at the weekend following a lengthy break away from competition.
“She’s been a relatively immature mare and had a few problems so we’ve had to wait,” the Cambridge trainer said. “She’s quite an exciting mare and her form suggests that and what I’ve seen from her at home. As we all know the Zabeels need time and she could be a very good cups mare.
“She’s had a light life and now she’s struck form I’ll talk to the owners and she may well go to Sydney for some of the undercard races there to set her up for a Brisbane campaign.
“Some of those intermediate type races would suit her and if she can win one of those that might get her into something like the Chairman’s Handicap or other nice staying races in Brisbane.”
Raced by Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Zonza finished runner-up in her first four appearances as a three-year-old before she broke her maiden at Matamata. She then ran second behind Duckworth Lewis in the Mad Butcher Championship Stakes Prelude 15 months ago before her career was interrupted.
“She had an unusual lameness that came and went and was never really diagnosed so we ended up putting her out and hopefully now we’ll reap the rewards,” James said.
Zonza was a sound fourth when she resumed last month and showed encouraging progress to comfortably account for her Rating 75 metric mile opposition at Hastings.
Rider Hayden Tinsley was caught three wide early before he let the mare stride up to second spot and challenged early in the run home. She pulled clear under a hands and heels ride over the closing 100 metres to win by a length and three-quarters.
- The Informant