Clearing weather towards the end of the week may not be enough to convince trainer Leon Corstens to run his Derby winner Zabeelionaire in the Listed $200,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
Corstens has defended the poor Winter Carnival performances of Zabeelionaire blaming the run of wet tracks for the four year old failing to be beat a runner home in two Brisbane starts.
“I think there is a very simple explanation – he’s just not handling the wet tracks,” Corstens said..
“He just won’t go in them as you can see from his form.”
“I’m sure that’s the only problem.”
Zabeelionaire arrived in Queensland in great order after finishing third to Whisper Downs over 2000m at Flemington on May 4.
At his first run north of the border he was always well back when thirteen to Beaten Up in the Group 1 $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 18 then finished at the tail of the field again when sixth to Quintessential in the Group 2 $250,000 Al Basti Equiworld Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 1.
Corstens then decided to target the easier Ipswich Cup but those plans now look like falling through with rain early in the week.
“I decided we’d target the Ipswich Cup now with him because it’s usually a firm track, and now I find out it hasn’t stopped raining there – it’s always the way,” Corstens said.
“When you want it dry it’s wet, and when you want it wet, it’s dry.”
Zabeelionaire hasn’t won a race since taking out last year’s Group 1 $500,000 Centrebet South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville with his best effort since being a fifth behind Alcopop in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 3.
The Zabeel four year old has drawn barrier six in Saturday’s Ipswich Cup but will come into three in the final field of sixteen if the emergencies don’t gain a start.
The Peter Moody trained import Voila Ici will carry the topweight of 60kg and has come up with the horror draw of nineteen out of twenty but could start from fifteen.