A highly anticipated clash between Brambles and Zabeelionaire will take place in the Group 1 Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm this Saturday.
Brambles is already favourite for the Derby after his impressive three and a half length win in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben last month.
The Savabeel gelding will be taking on the 2,400 metres of the Derby for the first time in his career, however, trainer Peter Moody does not feel this will pose a problem.
“Look, Brambles was ultra impressive but the Derby over 2400 metres at Eagle Farm is a different proposition to 2200 metres at Doomben where he was allowed to run along on his own in front,” Moody said.
“He’s a free-running type of horse.
“If something wants to take him on they do so at their own peril.”
Any suggestion that Zabeelionaire will prove too good for Brambles was quickly brushed off my Moody.
The trainer feels that his other three-year-old Chieftain Jack’s second to Zabeelionaire at Caulfield in April proves his form is not as strong, despite his last start Group 1 win.
“I didn’t rate Chieftain Jack good enough to bring to Queensland for the carnival,” Moody said.
“In fact, the horse has been sold to Darwin to run in the Northern Territory Derby next month.
“I think the Brambles form line through the Grand Prix Stakes is a lot stronger.”
However, Zabeelionaire’s trainer Leon Corstens is not convinced.
Corstens will fly the Zabeel colt up to Queensland later this week after his Group 1 SA Derby win last start.
“I’m not flying him up there to scratch,” the trainer said.
“He pulled up in really good order after some serious long work on Saturday morning.
“He’s a good-eating young horse but he doesn’t carry a lot of condition and he had a good preparation into the SA Derby.”
Zabeelionaire has won three of his 11 race starts and has earned more than $460,000 in prize money.
Both Brambles and Zabeelionaire will face a full field of Derby runners, including Moody’s other two starters; Vatuvei and Soros.