Zabisco will be having his first race start since joining the stable of Darren Weir on Saturday and jockey Brad Rawiller is confident that the tough entire can perform well in the Dorevitch Pathology Handicap (1720m) at Flemington.
Zabisco failed to fire under the care of Michael Moroney during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing 11th in the McKnight Handicap (1410m), ninth in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m), tenth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) and seventh in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m), but will face easier competition this weekend.
Rawiller will be partnering Zabisco in a race for the first time but got a chance to learn a bit about the New Zealand-bred galloper when he partnered him in a barrier trial last weekend and was happy with the feel that he received.
“I jumped him out at Camperdown last week and I was happy with how he went,” Rawiller said.
“I wouldn’t say that it was a trial that said jump on him first-up but his fitness level is high and he has some really good form.
“I am expecting him to be getting a nice from a really good barrier and I hope that he will be fighting out the finish.”
Rawiller, who is currently leading the Victoria Jockeys Premiership race, has a strong book of rides at Flemington this weekend and will also partner the consistent Hotham Heights in the ISIS Handicap (1200m).
Hotham Heights was unlucky not to record a victory during a lengthy campaign that lasted from December to August, including a third place finish in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m), and returned to the races with a promising third in the Tonks Plate (1200m) at Ballarat on November 24; with Rawiller confident that the Danbird gelding is a winning chance on Saturday.
“He is a horse that is a real trier and he always tries his heart out,” Rawiller said.
“He didn’t really get a lot of favours throughout the preparation but he tries so hard that when everything goes right he is going to be popping his head out at the finish.
“He has already put a good run in first-up and we can be amongst the chances.”
Rawiller also has rides on Luke Oliver-trained Hamam in the Nowicki Carbone Handicap (1410m), the resuming Spartini in the Lanec Services Handicap (1000m) and the in-form Sistine Demon in the Western Health Handicap (1410m) at Flemington this weekend.