Moonee Valley Return Off The Cards For Injured Zabeelionaire

By: Sarah Fortnum
July 31st, 2013

Trainer Leon Corstens is finding it hard to catch a break when it comes to his talented galloper Zabeelionaire.

The four-year-old is now headed back to the paddock after injuring himself days out from his proposed return to racing.

Zabeelionaire was due to run in a $100,000 over 2,040 metres at Moonee Valley this Saturday.

Zabeelionaire

An injury has ruled Zabeelionaire out of Moonee Valley this weekend. Picture by Daniel Costello.

However, an incident on the dry walker put an end to his hopes of racing this weekend and led to a nasty injury to his hind leg.

The injury marks yet another setback for Corstens and Zabeelionaire.

“This horse is determined not to run,” Corstens told AAP.

“It’s been very frustrating for the owners.

“I think he’s my nemesis at the moment.”

Zabeelionaire had been set to have his first start this weekend since taking part in the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, where he failed to realise his potential.

The Zabeel entire travelled north in search of dry ground, however, a wet winter in Queensland ensure that the stayer placed a disappointing last in both his race starts.

Zabeelionaire has failed to win a race since posting victory in the Group 1 South Australian Derby at Morphettville in May last year.

The stallion hopeful has won three of his 22 race starts in total and has earned more than $585,000 in prize money.

Despite Zabeelionaire’s absence from the stables, Corstens can instead focus his efforts on returning stable star Commanding Jewel.

A joint injury caused her to miss both the autumn and winter carnivals, however, she is now back and better than ever according to her trainer.

“She worked over half a mile this morning and I’m very pleased with her,” Corstens said.

“She seems to be coming along very nicely.”

Corstens is still deciding on a first-up assignment for the speedy three-year-old, with the Group 3 Cockram Stakes on August 17 a possibility.

“I was thinking about running her in the Cockram Stakes but it might be coming up a just little too quick for her,” he said.

The last start Group 1 Thousand Guineas winner will look towards a run in the $3 million Cox Plate this October.

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