Day to savour at Taupo

Day to savour at Taupo7 Feb 2023

We enjoyed a dose of double delight at Taupo where debutante Zourion followed the earlier winning lead of Almanzor’s daughter Marvelouz.

Both fillies are prepared for us by Mark Walker and we were thrilled to share in his milestone victory as Zourion credited the master trainer with his 1000th domestic success.

“It’s great to train winners for Brendan and Jo, they have put in an enormous amount into the industry and it’s beautifully bred fillies like these that will be backbone of Cambridge Stud for years and years to come,” Walker said.

Zourion mustered speed after a tardy beginning to lead and, although hotly challenged in the run home, dug deep to record a comfortable victory at the expense of Sako and the winner’s stablemate Sky On Fire.

“I think it was a good effort because she only went into it with a 700m trial and the filly that ran third is a stakes winner and I’d heard quite good things about the second horse,” Walker said.

“I think the form out of the race will be really strong and if we’re happy with the way she pulls up we’ll probably run her in the G2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes.”

A daughter of Zoustar, Zourion has been nominated for the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes, but Walker isn’t daring to dream just yet.

“We’ll get to Matamata first and small steps at a time. We’ll just wait and see how she progresses,” he said.

We purchased Zourion out of breeder Pencarrow Stud’s draft at Karaka with Te Akau’s David Ellis successfully having the final bid of $475,000 on our behalf.

Her dam is the Danroad mare Irion, who won on four occasions and was a multiple Group placegetter.

It is a rich and deep pedigree page that features the Group winners Valpolicella and her offspring Vavasour, Catalonia-Vilanova (Aus) and Celebrity Dream as well as stakes winners Pussy Willow and Pussy O’Reilly.