Zavite - NSW Stayer Of The Year

18 Aug 2009

New Zealand-bred stayer Zavite (NZ) (Zabeel) took the title of Stayer of the Year at the New South Wales Owners' Association's 'Night of Champions' Awards Dinner in Sydney earlier this month.  Fittingly, the Stayer of the Year award was presented by New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing.

Trained by Anthony Cummings, the well-travelled Zavite (NZ) was rewarded with the supreme distance acclaim following his outstanding triple Cup-winning season, which ultimately saw him bankroll over A$640,000 in stake-earnings.  Outlining his class with a dominant win in the Gr.2 Adelaide Cup, Zavite demonstrated his ability over the two-mile test, romping home to a 2.3 length win when carrying 57.5kg.  It was Zavite's first attempt at the 3200m, but the tough son of Zabeel had clearly inherited plenty of the "Z" factor as he seemingly cruised convincingly to the line.

Toughness and durability were also apparent of the Cummings-trained galloper - his Adelaide Cup success came hot off the heels of a solid performance to win the Gr.3 Launceston Cup (2400m), with victory in the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) coming three starts prior.

A close second to fellow home-bred stayer Gotta Keep Cool (NZ) in the Gr.3 Hobart Cup narrowly denied Zavite a fourth Cup title last term.

All told, the talented million-dollar-earner has won eight from 38 starts, with additional black-type success counted in the 2007 Gr.3 Queen Elizabeth Handicap, and the Listed WJ McKell Cup two seasons ago.  Bred in New Zealand by Fairdale Stud, Zavite was sold to a bid of A$80,000 from Anthony Cummings at the 2004 Inglis Sydney Easter Yearling Sale.  Initially labelled by Cummings as a Melbourne Cup horse, Zavite's path to its 2008 running went awry after developing a muscle tear when third in last October's Listed Bart Cummings Hcp (2520m) at Flemington.

"I basically bought him to win a Melbourne Cup," said Cummings of the now seven-year-old.  "Things went wrong last year, it was supposed to be his year, but it didn't work out," he said.

Twelve months prior Cummings had plotted a campaign to assure Zavite a start the 2007 Melbourne Cup, but came-up agonisingly short of making the field.  Following a second-place effort in the Gr.2 Winning Edge Presentation Stakes, and a narrow defeat in the Gr.3 Geelong Cup, Zavite was unfortunately 29th in the Melbourne Cup elimination order for the field of 24.  Already qualifying for this year's renewal, 2009 could well be Zavite's year.

With the benefit of two trial outings under his belt, Zavite will kick off his 2009 Melbourne Cup campaign in Saturday's Gr.2 Warwick Stakes at Royal Randwick in Sydney.

"He has come back stronger this time around and his work is up to its usual high standard," Cummings reported.  "We will look at running him in the Chelmsford at Randwick and then the Hill Stakes before he heads to Melbourne.  He'll run in the Caulfield Cup, then the Mackinnon prior to the Melbourne Cup.  He keeps improving and the two miles is what he is bred for," concluded Cummings, whose dad, Bart, has won a record 12 Melbourne Cups - 8 of those with New Zealand-bred horses.

10 things to know about ZAVITE (NZ)

1)       He is the first horse in history to complete the Launceston Cup - Adelaide Cup double

2)       14 of his 16 starts last season were in races carrying a stake of $100,000 or greater.

3)       He equalled the modern-day weight-carrying of 58.5kg's when winning the Gr.3 Launceston Cup

4)       His time of 3.22.71 in the Adelaide Cup (3200m) was one second faster than Efficient's 2007 Melbourne Cup winning time.

5)       He raced in four different states last season. (NSW, Melbourne, South Australia, Tasmania)

6)       He travelled over 4000kms last season!

7)       He is owned by Mrs N K Falconer, Ms J L Clare, G Clare, Ms S I Dalling, M J Dalling, K S Ince, Ms J M Ince & A Blood

8)       He is one of 121 stakes-winners for his super sire Zabeel (already sire of 3 Melbourne Cup winners)

9)       He is one of three winning foals to race for his dam Miss Vita

10)    Currently in foal to Savabeel, Miss Vita will visit Alamosa this season


Article courtesy of Sonya Anderson, New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing