IN Racing
Zaher putting in the miles ahead of Wellesley
Two-year-old gelding Zaher may only be having his second start at Trentham on Saturday but he is already becoming a seasoned traveller.
NZ Racing Desk | January 14, 2022
Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images)

Two-year-old gelding Zaher may only be having his second start at Trentham on Saturday but he is already becoming a seasoned traveller.

The Cambridge juvenile made the long trek down to Otaki in November to score on debut and he will add on another couple of hours to that journey on Saturday when he contests the Listed IRT Wellesley Stakes (1100m).

Trainer Lauren Brennan said the son of Proisir has a great constitution and she doesn’t think the travel fazes the youngster.

“He will have two runs with two big trips away for him,” Brennan said.

“He is a horse that doesn’t worry about things like that. He is a pretty cruisy horse and is easy to do anything with.

“He has got a fantastic temperament and he has got a good mind for a two-year-old, which helps.”

Brennan gave Zaher a freshen-up following his debut win, and with the gelding not eligible for the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie next week, she put a circle around the Wellesley Stakes a week prior as a key target.

“I gave him 10 days off after that run (Otaki) just to freshen him up,” Brennan said.

“Because he is not Karaka Million eligible, I thought I would let the Karaka Million horses race against each other and try and get their spots, and bring him back just before the Millions to run in the Wellesley.

“I had this one planned because all the top two-year-olds will be going the Karaka Million way.”

Brennan is hoping her plan pays off on Saturday and she believes he is a solid chance despite drawing the widest gate in the seven-horse field.

“He has drawn seven of seven, which isn’t ideal, but I don’t think there is a lot of early speed in the race so Matt (Cameron, jockey) should be able to put him where he wants to,” she said.

While already showing plenty of early promise, Brennan believes Zaher will make an even nicer three-year-old.

“He is still quite up in the back end, he has still got to level out a bit, so I think as a three-year-old he will be a really nice horse,” she said.

“At the moment he is doing everything we ask of him. I would imagine he will furnish into an even nicer horse at three.”

Brennan is also looking forward to heading south on Saturday with consistent galloper Packing Rockstar who will line-up in the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m).

The six-year-old gelding has won six and placed in six of his 16 starts, and Brennan is hoping her gelding can improve on his two fourth placings over 1200m at Group One level on Saturday.

“He tries hard and that is all you can ask,” Brennan said.

“He didn’t get the best of trips in the Railway (Gr.1, 1200m), out four-wide the trip. He still stuck on well (for fourth) and he had every right to be tailed off with the trip he got, but he tried really hard and hit the line nicely.

“It is his first trip away. We haven’t taken him anywhere overnight before, but I don’t think he will worry about that.

“I think the Wellington track will suit him, the 1200m really runs similar to a 1400m there. We just need some luck.”

Zaher IRT Wellesley Stakes Lauren Brennan Proisir Doubletree By Hilton Karaka Million 2YO Matthew Cameron Packing Rockstar JR & N Berkett Telegraph