IN Racing
Zabmanzor vindicates trainers’ top rating
Trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood were far from surprised that Zabmanzor bridged the significant gap from maiden company to black type success with such aplomb at Otaki.
Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | November 30, 2023
Zabmanzor winning at Otaki on Thursday.

Trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood were far from surprised that Zabmanzor bridged the significant gap from maiden company to black type success with such aplomb at Otaki.

They have held Almanzor’s son in high regard for some time and the three-year-old showed exactly why with an effortless victory in Thursday’s Gr.3 Elsdon Park Wellington Stakes (1600m).

At his previous appearance, Zabmanzor had delivered a breakthrough win at Tauranga earlier this month at his third outing.

“He’s a very, very good horse and we’ve really liked him from day one,” Wellwood said.

“He first went to the races having only had one trial, so he’s learned as he’s gone along.

“He’s still got to learn to get into a rhythm, but once he got going today he put them away pretty quickly.”

Zabmanzor was a shade slow to break from the barrier and settled third last before rider Masa Hashizume urged him around runners across the top and he lengthened stride impressively in the straight to romp home by four lengths.

Charmer made ground from the back to finish runner-up ahead of Chantilly Lace, the favourite Geriatrix ran fourth after looking to have his chance, while Antrim Coast was next to cross the line after racing three wide without cover.

Zabmanzor holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Cambridge Stud Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham in January and his immediate future will become clearer in the coming days.

“There are a lot of options ahead, but we will get him home and see how he does before we make a plan,” Wellwood said.

Zabmanzor is a son of the Savabeel mare Zaborei and is raced by his patient Auckland-based breeders John and Di Struthers.

“They purchased the mother at Karaka (for $460,000), but she had a number of feet issues and unfortunately never raced,” Wellwood said.

“This is her second foal and he looks to be a top one, they deserve it and have been with the stable for a long time and had a share in He’s Remarkable.”

By Pentire, He’s Remarkable won six races including the Gr.3 Newmarket Handicap (1400m) and was runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and third in the Gr.1 Spring Classic (2040m).

He also won the Gr.1 Railway Stakes at Ascot, Perth, only to be controversially relegated to second.

Zabmanzor completed a good afternoon at Otaki for the James and Wellwood stable, who had earlier celebrated victory in the UZA Bus Handicap (1300m) with Pizzazz, a Vadamos mare ridden by Hashizume and also part-owned by John Struthers.