ZANBAGH will go straight into the $1 million Victoria Oaks, 2500m, at Flemington after an emphatic performance in Ballarat yesterday.
It is a big step up from a midweek provincial event for fillies and mares to a group one classic, but her Sydney trainer Guy Walter could only be impressed by the way Zanbagh ($4 favourite) ran away with the Sportsbet.com.au Top Tote 0-64 Handicap, 2000m.
The three-year-old left her older rivals in her wake over the last 200m and went to the line five lengths clear.
Step Dance ($13) ran on to get second, with Professional Miss ($31) third.
Another Oaks contender Celeritas missed a place after racing up near the pace.
Walter could not have expected more out of Zanbagh.
He said with Zanbagh lightly framed, he did not believe lining up in the Wakeful Stakes – the traditional lead up to the Oaks – was the way to go so had chosen the Ballarat path.
Jockey Steven Arnold was equally impressed by Zanbagh, which has now had the two starts in Ballarat for back-to-back wins.
By Bernardini, Zanbagh is out of 2004 AJC Australian Oaks winner Wild Iris, which was also prepared by Walter.
DARREN Weir continued another prolific-winning week with colt Symphonix ($4.40) scoring on debut in the Viatek Two-Year-Old Maiden, 1000m.
Weir said Symphonix had always shown a bit and he had been set for this race.
He said depending on how he pulled up, he might be set for “something better” in the next few weeks.
Raced by OTI Racing, Symphonix was swamped by more than 25 owners in the mounting yard for a group photo and celebrations.
Trent later completed a double for Weir in the Hygain 0-64 Handicap for fillies and mares, 1200m.
This gives Weir three doubles this week
General Armour ($2.10) and Glockenspiel ($1.90) won at Pakenham on Monday, while Where’s The Bar ($7.50) and Invincible Lady ($7) landed the money at Geelong on Wednesday.
BURRUMBEET harness racing trainer Ashleigh Herbertson landed a double at Ararat on Wednesday night.
Citysneak ($23.70) used the sprint lane from midfield to get up in a 4yo/older pace, 2195m, and Blissful Kisses ($3.30) also used an inside run to win a C2-C3 pace, 1790m.
Citysneak is a four-year-old mare by Metropolitan and second winner out of Sneak Peek (14 wins).
Herbertson has seven wins for the season to be sitting inside the top 10 in the Victorian trainers’ premiership.
Herbertson was the only winning trainer outside Great Western’s Manning family with father Peter having a treble and daughters Kerryn and Michelle each having one win.
HILLTOP Hustler will start from the pole for Ballarat trainer-driver Michael Stanley in group 3 $30,000 Goulburn Championship, 1710m, at Goulburn today.
The four-year-old has won his past three starts, including a heat win at Menangle in 1:53.9.