Co-trainer Troy Corstens is pleased with the condition of Zebrinz ahead of a likely return to racing in Saturday’s Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Zebrinz has reportedly completed a number of strong pieces of work in the lead-up to his competitive return, but will only take his position in the Chester Manifold Stakes field if he pleases Corstens in a gallop on Thursday morning.
“I’ll make a final decision whether he runs or not when I see him work on Thursday morning,” Corstens told AAP.
“We’ll definitely accept with him and see how he draws. But I’m pleased with him and think he’s going nicely.
“He’s had a couple of trials and I was very pleased with him.
“If he pulls up well on Thursday morning I’d definitely run him.”
The Sebring gelding has not been seen at the races since July, but is a proven performer at the track and distance of the Chester Manifold Stakes and will carry a credible record of five wins and as many minors through thirty starts into the feature race.
Zebrinz was set on a busy autumn and preparation in 2016 and was returned to the paddock after contested nine starts in only four months of racing.
Resuming for ninth in the Hong Kong Jockey Club BM96 (1200m) on February 20th, Zebrinz ran on well for fourth in the Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m), before a luckless performance for seventh in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) on March 26th.
Running a close second in each of the Vobis Gold Mile (1600m) and a Morphettville minor over 1600m at his next two starts, Zebrinz slowly began to tail off towards the concluding stages of his preparation and was returned to the paddock after failing to run on and fourth in the Henry Bolte Handicap (1800m) on July 23rd.
The 2017 Chester Manifold Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.