Mark Zahra picks up the ride on Azkadellia in Doomben 10,000

By: Mark Mazzaglia
May 19th, 2016

Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra has picked up the ride on the favourite Azkadellia in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28.

Mark Zahra, above, has picked up the ride on Azkadellia in the Doomben 10,000. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Mark Zahra, above, has picked up the ride on Azkadellia in the Doomben 10,000. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Nick Hall had been booked to ride Ciaron Maher’s Group 1 winning mare in the weight for age sprint but had to give up the mount after being suspended for careless rising at Ballarat on Wednesday.

Hall pleaded guilty to causing interference at the 200m mark in the 1200m BenchMark 70 Handicap when he shifted out on God Forbid when insufficiently clear of Jamie Mott’s mount Rockets Red Glare, causing that horse to clip heels and almost fall.

Hall will begin his suspension at midnight on May 21 and can resume riding on June 4.

Azkadellia has had a freshen up since winning the Group 1 $1m The Coolmore Legacy Stakes (Queen Of The Turf Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9 and is scheduled to trial over 1000m on the new Eagle Farm course proper today.

“Azkadellia has been ticking over nicely since her win in the Queen Of The Turf and I’m looking forward to seeing her trial at Eagle Farm,’’ Maher told The Courier-Mail.

“I think her get-back racing pattern will suit the Stradbroke at Eagle Farm a lot more than she will be suited by the tight track at Doomben for the 10,000.”

Zahra will be the fourth jockey to ride Azkadellia in as many starts with Brett Prebble on board when second to Peeping in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 12, Glen Boss rode her when third to Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2 and Damien Oliver steered her to victory in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.

Azkadellia heads the market order for the Doomben 10000 at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.80, just ahead of the John O’Shea trained filly Ghisoni at $4.80 with Delectation and Dothraki sharing the next line of betting at $7.

Azkadellia is also the $4.40 favourite for the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.

Early market order for the Doomben 10000 at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 Azkadellia, $4.80 Ghisoni, $7 Delectation, Dothraki, $8 Fell Swoop, $9 Music Magnate, Rageese, $13 Stratum Star, $17 Scarlet Billows, $19 Charlie Boy, $26 Hooked, Two Blue, $41 Tivaci, $61 Divine Centuri.

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