Staying filly Zanbagh will continue her racing career under the care of Patrick Payne and arrived at the Plumpton-based stable of the rising trainer yesterday.
Zanbagh was previously prepared by the recently deceased Guy Walter and the champion trainer did a terrific job with the Bernardini filly; taking her from a benchmark 64 handicap at Ballarat in October last year to a second place finish in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.
Payne told RSN that he wishes he could have acquired such a talented filly in other circumstances, but said he is pleased to be training Zanbagh for the Tait Family, who were great supporters of him during his riding career.
“You don’t really want to pick up a horse under these circumstances, but she has arrived in really good order,” Payne said.
“George Hanlon was quoted as saying one time that a good trainer is one the leaves something in for the next trainer and Guy Walter is certainly that.
“She has arrived in great order and she is very sound and well.
“I am happy to be training her.”
Zanbagh has been one of the most consistent staying fillies of the 2013/2014 racing season, finishing second in both the 2013 Crown Oaks and 2014 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), but Payne admits that the rising four-year-old will need to improve to be competitive in open company next season.
Payne said that he had no firm plans in mind for Zanbagh during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he believes that she may not reach her potential as a mare until next year’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“She is probably still halfway through furnishing,” Payne said.
“We all know that it is very deep water when they turn four-years-old against all the open horses and she is going to have to hopefully improve a bit.
“She looks as though she is halfway there, but maybe as a four-year-old in the autumn might be better for her.”
Zanbagh recorded only one win during her 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign, taking out the Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 23, but she made plenty of money for connections when fifth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at second in the Australian Oaks.
The three-year is currently available at odds of $21 in the 2014 Caulfield Cup betting market with Ladbrokes Australia and is priced at Melbourne Cup odds of $34.