Stablemates Zonza and Misstrum showed at yesterday’s Cambridge trials they are ready to race, but trainer Roger James is prepared to wait for improved tracks.
Both horses were entered for the Ellerslie meeting last Saturday then withdrawn because of the slow9 track. “I didn’t want to bottom them in that ground and I’m just going to have to wait until the tracks improve a bit,” said James. “They are both very well and they trialled well.”
Zonza stepped out in the second trial yesterday, an open 1200 metres and, with Leith Innes aboard, she won by a head from Group One winner Historian with the same margin to third placegetter Decorah.
Zonza has been unplaced just once in 11 starts, winning three times and being runner-up on six occasions. She was stakes-placed when runner-up in the Listed Mad Butcher Championship Stakes at the end of her three-year-old campaign and last season she picked up a double over 1600 metres last March.
Those latest two wins convinced James to take her to Sydney, where she had two starts and ended her campaign on a bright note when second to Moriarty in the Listed Lord Mayor Cup (2000m) at Rosehill.
“We may look at taking her back to Aussie, but she’ll run here first,” said James.
Misstrum was ridden by stable apprentice Lee Magorrian in the third heat, also an open 1200 metres, and she got home by a neck from Wisecrack.
Misstrum completed her juvenile season with a stakes win in the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie and began her three-year-old campaign in the same manner, winning the Listed McLeans Soliloquy Stakes last September. She was then unlucky in her next three starts and put aside after finishing seventh in the Gr. 2 NZB Royal Stakes last January.
“I’ve got no immediate big plans for her,” said James. “I’d like to see her win another through the grades before looking at something bigger. She’s coming up well.”
Meanwhile, James has brought Full Count back home after the three-year-old failed in his Australian debut at Canterbury last Wednesday. Ridden by Hugh Bowman, he tailed the seven-horse field home, finishing six and a half lengths behind the winner.
“It was a pressure race from barrier rise and he had to be pushed along early and was out of his comfort zone,” said James. “Hugh said he was a bit new to the game and didn’t know how to cope. His position at the finish was accentuated when Hugh sat up a bit the final stages.
“I put him straight on a plane back home. He’ll be staying out until Christmas and we’ll look at the autumn for him.”
Full Count had been runner-up on debut then won at Avondale. He was taken to Sydney in a bid to earn him way into the Gloaming Stakes and Champion Stakes
- The Informant