Zabisco flew home late to record a narrow win over Pheidon in the 2014 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown this afternoon.
Zabisco joined the Darren Weir stable after previously being prepared by Mike Moroney and he put the writing on the wall for his Eclipse Stakes win with promising performances in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 19 and the Listed James Boag’s Premium Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on November 4.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Pheidon looked as though he had the race won when he kicked two lengths clear at the 200 metre mark, but Zabisco jumped out of the ground in the final stages of the race to steal victory in the shadows of the post.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy said after the race that Weir wanted him to settle Zabisco at the tail of the field before giving him the last crack at his rivals in the Eclipse Stakes and the leading hoop was delighted that the tactics had paid dividends.
“It is my first ride on him, but I got some confidence from Weiry when he said just ride him quiet and be the last one to challenge,” McEvoy said.
“He rested early for me and he was really quiet strong in that last 100.
“It was a really good win.”
Zabisco spent over six months in the spelling paddock after he suffered an injury following his win in the Woodford Cup at the end of last year and Weir has been thrilled with the form of the Zabeel entire since he has returned to racing.
“He obviously came to use from another stable and he ran really well first-up at Warrnambool, but unfortunately after he had a little injury, so he had to go out and have a good long spell,” Weir said.
“The boys have done a great job with him back at the beach and I thought that his two runs had been good.
“His last run was a good toughening up run and he took benefit from that and he hit the line well.”
The Eclipse Stakes win was Zabisco’s first at Group level and Weir is now eyeing further Stakes wins with the seven-year-old; with a trip to Tasmania for races like the Listed Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) on the agenda for the talented entire.
“I was keen to get to this race and I think that he is a horse that will get over 10 furlongs for sure the way that he hit the line today,” Weir said.
“I sort of thought that he might be a good one for the Tassie Carnival and that is something to look at or maybe even Brisbane down the track.”
Zabisco has now recorded eight wins from his 31 career starts and has accumulated over $300,000 in prizemoney for connections.