Track can help Zanbagh overcome wide barrier in Villiers Stakes

Trainer John Thompson is hoping that the Randwick track is playing the same way as it did last week so as to help his backmarker Zanbagh in the Group 2 $250,000 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.

Zanbagh has drawn a wide barrier in the Villiers Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Zanbagh has drawn a wide barrier in the Villiers Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Zanbagh has drawn barrier nineteen in the twenty horse field but Thompson said that the mare gets back in her races anyway and as along as the backmarkers can mark up ground in the straight, the wide gate is not that much of a worry.

“It’s not ideal but we’re a backmarker and the way the track played last Saturday at Randwick they were coming down the outside,” Thompson told AAP.

Zanbagh showed plenty of potential during her three year old season under the guidance of Guy Walter with a second in the 2013 Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during the Spring and followed that up in the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a second in the Group 1 $550,000 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

The five year old Bernardini mare’s form tapered off when she was transferred to Paddy Payne in Victoria but Thompson puts that down to her having an underlying foot problem.

But since Zanbagh was transferred to Thompson’s stable, the Randwick trainer said she has been trouble free and her performances on the race track have reflected that.

“She came to me in very good shape, sound and happy and healthy,” Thompson said.

“But I think at the end of when Guy (Walter) had her and Paddy (Payne) had her she had problems with her feet.

“But we’ve had no such problems at all. They’re really good and, touch wood, we won’t have any problems going into the future.”

Thompson was able to prepare Zanbagh for a first up win in the $85,000 November Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill on November 14 followed by a fourth behind Mighty Lucky in the Listed $150,000 Sky Thoroughbred Central Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill a fortnight later.

Zanbagh has been marked as a $15 chance for the Villiers Stakes with with the Pat Webster trained Happy Clapper heading the market order at $4.80.

On the second line of betting is the Chris Waller trained Telepathic at $7 ahead of God’s In Him at $8.50 and It’s Somewhat at $9.

Villiers Stakes market order at $4.80 Happy Clapper, $7 Telepathic, $8.50 God’s In Him, $9 It’s Somewhat, $10 Frespanol, $13 Puccini, $15 Zanbagh, Malice, $16 Casino Dancer, $19 Red Excitement, $21 Rhythm To Spare, Mighty Lucky, $26 Ninth Legion, Tinto, $34 I’m Imposing, $41 Timeless Prince, Moral Victory, $81 Pheidon, $151 Keepit To Yourself, Dream Folk.

If you fancy a runner in the Villiers Stakes, take advantage of Ladbrokes Special Offer. [ladbrokes] are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Villiers Stakes this Saturday, which means you can get an additional 20% on your winnings up to a maximum bet of.$50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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