Since her great three length win at Kilmore in early October, Zoophoria has consistently been running well. Second placings, by small margins, at Ballarat at Moe took Zoophoria’s record to one win and five placings from her last seven starts.
Each start, both Nigel and riders have learned a little more about her. It became clear at Ballarat in late October that she is not a mare to be held up and then asked to sprint home in the closing stages of her race. She has a long, efficient stride. To make the best use of that attribute, she needs to build momentum and be full of running rounding the home turn.
At Kyneton on Thursday, Zoophoria was entered into a BM58 1469m event. Dropping back in distance from two runs at a mile was a specific decision by Nigel, and Kyneton was considered an ideal track for her racing style. And it worked perfectly.
Jordan Childs took the ride on the daughter of Arrowfield Stud’s ANIMAL KINGDOM. The instructions were specific – ensure Zoophoria is in full flight rounding the turn and capitalise on her length of stride and strength at the end of the race.
A decision on whether to lead, or be handy enough to challenge the leaders on the home turn, would be left to Jordan. He summed up the situation well, early in the race. Despite a bit of early pressure, Jordan allowed Zoophoria to roll along and lead at a genuine tempo which suited her. Approaching the corner and into the straight, it was clear she was not going to be headed. A three length victory was the result.
It will be great to give Zoophoria the chance to win at metropolitan level this Summer. That might sound like a big step up from a BM58 at Kyneton, but such is her raw ability, she could add a city win (even if benchmark class) to her pedigree page which will suit her breeder/owners Arrowfield Stud and John Leaver (Planette Thoroughbred Training).
The time she ran was quite a bit quicker than the other 1469m race on the day, a maiden race won by another daughter of Animal Kingdom and also part-owned by Arrowfield Stud. Hopefully her time in the sun in a better class race will come soon.
In the meantime, we know we have an in-form mare approaching full maturity, and a racing style that puts her in a great position to win plenty more races.
Congratulations to Arrowfield Stud and their long-time client John Leaver (Planette Thoroughbred Trading Pty Ltd) for breeding and racing this daughter of Animal Kingdom. She is out of their Redoute’s Choice mare Mirovaya, a daughter of Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner Miss Kournikova and half-sister to Group 3 winners Oakleigh Girl.