IN Racing
Zaila set to resume at Ellerslie
“It was such a good run in the Cal Isuzu, and to run second behind Campionessa there is no shame in that."
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | April 17, 2024
Group Two performer Zaila will resume at Ellerslie on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Group Two performer Zaila was in a purple patch of form late last year and trainer Kylie Hoskin is hoping she can pick up where she left off when she heads to Ellerslie on Saturday.

The five-year-old daughter of Street Boss was fourth in the Listed Fulton Family Stakes (1500m) and Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) before gaining black-type when runner-up to subsequent Group One winner Campionessa in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa in December.

“It was such a good run in the Cal Isuzu, and to run second behind Campionessa there is no shame in that,” Hoskin said.

The Byerley Park horsewoman has been pleased with the way her stable star has returned and is looking forward to stepping her out at Ellerslie for the first time in the Barfoot & Thompson 1200.

“It is really exciting to get her back on course and to Ellerslie as well, and give her a look around there,” Hoskin said.

“She seems to like any surface – she goes on the Heavy, she goes on the Good – it doesn’t seem to bother her.

“She does seem to have better form left-handed than right, but in saying that, she has gone some good races right-handed as well. It will be a bit of a fact-finding mission and we will know more after Saturday.”

Zaila has had the one trial over 800m leading into her resuming run and Hoskin said Saturday’s 1200m contest should help bring her on further.

“She had the trial at Pukekohe, she is pretty fresh and behaved accordingly, so it was hard to get a line on her,” Hoskin said.

“She has definitely got a bit of spunk that we are trying to keep under wraps. I love her to bits, but she does take a bit of managing.

“We would have gone back to the trials, but with Waipa being moved and a bit of rain about at the end of this week, we decided to go to Ellerslie instead.”

Zaila will jump from barrier seven with Sam Spratt aboard and has been installed a $10 winning chance by TAB bookmakers.

“I think she will get a nice run in behind them,” Hoskin said. “As long as she is running on we will be happy.

“It is her first run back with just one trial under her belt, so she is probably lacking a little bit fitness-wise, but the rain will help her, it will help slow them down a bit and bring them back to her.”

Hoskin has eyed next month’s Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) as Zaila’s main target this preparation and believes Saturday’s contest is a great starting point.

“With those trials being moved we wanted to get a run into her before the Rotorua Stakes,” Hoskin said. “We will then give her a short break and look towards the spring.”

Meanwhile, Hoskin is looking forward to her new stable acquisition Quality Time making his New Zealand debut in the near future.

“I have an import of Go Racing’s from Australia called Quality Time, who has come over from Chris Waller’s,” she said.

“He trialled at Pukekohe as well and hit the line pretty strongly. He will have his first start at Te Rapa in a few weeks, so it will be exciting to get him out for his New Zealand debut.

“Since he has had that trial he has really perked up, he is a lovely horse and a bit of a gentleman. He is a chestnut and he is showing a bit of his red-head side this week, so I am pretty excited to get him out on the track.”

Go Racing Zaila Byerley Park Kylie Hoskin Sam Spratt Quality Time