Zahra leaning to start Solicit in Phar Lap Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 19th, 2014

Trainer Simon Zahra is leaning to start the in-form Solicit in the Group 2 $175,000 Cellarbrations Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday even though the filly is also accepted for the Listed $120,000 Schweppes Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Solicit with Damian Lane lead all of the way to win the The Mitty's Vanity.

Solicit with Damian Lane lead all of the way to win the The Mitty's Vanity. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

If Zahra brings Solicit to Sydney the Street Cry filly will be taking on Peter Snowden’s top filly Guelph who is struggling to regain her Group 1 Spring winning form with two unplaced runs this campaign.

While if the Flemington trainer decides to stay at home, Solicit will have a relatively easier assignment taking on the fillies at Listed level.

Solicit is ready to head to Sydney with Zahra and co-trainer Mathew Ellerton aiming her towards the Group 1 $1m ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 19.

The step up to 1500m in the Phar Lap Stakes will suit Solicit perfectly after winning first up in the Group 3 $150,000 The Mittys Vanity over 1400m at Flemington on February 15 then scored again over the same distance in the Group 2 $220,000 TAB Kewney Stakes at Flemington on March 8 and Zahra has no qualms of the filly racing in the opposite direction.

“She’s been racing on her Sydney leg all prep down here in Melbourne so it didn’t pose any problems or issues for her this morning galloping right-handed,” Zahra told Racing Network.

“This time in she’s big and sound and the races haven’t hurt her at all.”

After Saturday, Solicit will then line up in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 5 as her final hit out for the Australian Oaks two weeks later.

Solict showed her staying ability as well as her bold front running style when she led up the field in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 7 before being beaten less than half a length when third to Kirramosa and Zanbagh.

Melbourne jockey Damian Lane has been engaged to ride Solicit at Rosehill and Moonee Valley after partnering the filly to her two wins this preparation.

Solicit is currently on the third line of betting at $6.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au in the Australian Oaks market order with the Kiwi filly Rising Romance the $4.20 favourite ahead of the Guy Walter trained Zanbagh at $6 with Guelph being marked as a $9 chance.

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