An ambitious long-range plan will be put to the test at Flemington on Saturday.
Bargain buy Zambezi Khan was set for the Melbourne spring carnival months ago and her lead-up form will now see the daughter of Mongolian Khan take on Australia’s best fillies.
She will step out in Saturday’s Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and, all going well, the Guy Lowry-trained representative will return to Flemington next Thursday for the Gr.1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m).
“It’s been the plan since January to have her there, it’s been the goal since she ran fifth in the Wellesley Stakes (Listed, 1100m),” Lowry said.
“We put her out for a break then and brought her back to prepare her for Melbourne in the spring. She’s such a big, scopey filly and showed a good enough turn of foot to suggest she was good enough to go over there.”
Zambezi Khan had won on debut at Tauherenikau before the Wellesley and returned to finish fifth at Taupo in August before crossing the Tasman.
“She had a really good grounding before she went. She was a little bit on edge at Taupo and probably ridden a bit too handy, but we’ve never altered the preparation, it’s all been about the Wakeful and the Oaks.”
Zambezi Khan was unplaced over 1200m at Seymour in her Australian debut before she won over 1550m at Mornington and backed that up with a solid last second over 1880m at Kyneton and will again be ridden by Billy Egan.
“It’s been a pretty good path for her and it looks like the further she goes the better she will be,” Lowry said.
The filly is a daughter of the Makfi mare Zafiki, who was successful up to 1800m and is a daughter of the Zabeel mare Zingo who claimed an edition the Listed Rain Lover Plate (2600m).
Zambezi Khan was bred by the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry and purchased via the Gavelhouse platform by part-owner Mark Evans for $5,000.
“This is the first horse I’ve had for them, but when I built a house about 15 years ago, Mark did the timber flooring and that’s how we met and he sent me this filly,” Lowry said.
He was also thrilled to see his former charge Jimmysstar strike at the first time of asking in Australia at Bendigo on Wednesday.
Lowry prepared the son of Per Incanto to win two of his three starts before he was purchased by clients of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s stable.
“He won well and he is a very good horse, Grid Girl has also been sold and she’s over there now with the Hayes boys,” Lowry said.
The daughter of Time Test placed in both of her starts before her relocating to Lindsay Park.
Meanwhile, Lowry will also be keeping a close eye on Saturday on Trentham where he has The Stoney One and Candle in the Manawatu ITM Handicap (1200m) and Epairama in the intowin.co.nz Join A Syndicate Handicap (1400m).
“All three are going really well and I’m sure they will all be competitive, I couldn’t split any of them,” Lowry said.
– NZ Racing Desk