Zarzuela Wins Gr2 NZ Equine Veterinarians Championship Stakes

21 Feb 2010

David Paykel's super filly
Zarzuela (NZ) (
Zabeel) tightened her favouritism for the New Zealand Derby in two weeks time with a smart win in the
Gr.2 NZ Equine Veterinarians Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie on Saturday. Since the date for the NZ Derby was shifted in 2006, the Championship Stakes has become the Derby's main lead-in race and has fashioned a strong record of subsequent success.

In its first two years of running, its winners
Wahid and
Redoute's Dancer correspondingly represented the subsequent Derby victors.

In its third year, it was won by
Red Ruler (Viking Ruelr). He would place 8th in the NZ Derby but fared significantly better in Australia, when finishing 2nd to Fairdale Stud's new sire
Nom Du Jeu (NZ) in the AJC Derby.

Last year, the Championship Stakes was taken out by
Down The Road (NZ), who would go on to finish a nose in second in the Derby to
Coniston Bluebird - a horse who had himself placed third in the Championship Stakes.

Beyond her hard fought head margin win over
Corporal Jones (NZ) (Pentire) in Saturday's Champion Stakes,
Zarzuela (NZ) takes exceptional form to the Derby courtesy of previous wins in the
Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas (2100m) and the
Gr.3 Waikato Guineas (2000m).

Safely through March 6ths Derby,
Zarzuela's trainer Mark Walker has signalled a possible Sydney campaign could go ahead involving April 3's
Gr.1 Storm Queen Stakes (3YOF, 2000m) and April 17's
Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

Article courtesy of NZ Thoroughbred Marketing