8 Win Saturday - Group 2 Honours for Zippy Zourion

Date: 26 Feb 2023

8 Win Saturday - Group 2 Honours for Zippy Zourion


Making a habit of winning the $120,000 J Swap Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) is not bad thing, and glam filly Zourion (2 f Zoustar - Irion, by Danroad) did it stylishly on Saturday at Matamata.


She is a half-sister to impressive unbeaten (four from four) winner Pearl of Alsace (Tavistock). 

New to racing, Zourion debuted with victory in the 2YO 1100 metres on 7 February at Taupo, providing nine-time Champion Trainer Mark Walker his 1000th domestic win, while following in the footsteps of stable-mate and Champion Two-Year-Old Maven Belle (Burgundy), who won it last year, she cemented the eighth success in the race for Te Akau.

Ridden by Opie Bosson, who first won it 24 years ago, Zourion was last on settling, steadily improved to trail the leaders 500m out and after saving ground on the inside of runners she powered home to score by one and a quarter lengths. 

It was a win that required plenty of resolve, but she answered every question and showed her class. 

“She's still learning which is understandable at just her second start, but once the penny drops she could be pretty special,” said Bosson, on dismounting.

Zorion ran 1200 metres in 1:12.4, last 600m in 36, on Heavy9 footing and paid $3.40 & $1.80 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“She's a lovely filly, it was a pretty big effort to win and she's got a very bright future,” Walker said. “She will develop into a lovely three-year-old.

“Full credit to Brendan and Jo and Henry (Plumptre), they let us make a decision this morning to run, with the prospect of quite testing ground, but she coped and it was a really tough win. 

“I'd like to thank the Matamata Racing Club and the committee members that do an outstanding job here, and Graeme Styles (track manager) and his team that prepare the track.

“It's been a tough month with all the rain and to turn out a track like this is a credit to them. Also the Swap family, they're huge employers and so important to the whole town in Matamata.”

On hand, owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay (Cambridge Stud) were brimming with adulation for their new star, having formed a strong relationship with Te Akau, who trained their four-time Group One winner and reigning dual Horse of the Year Probabeel (Savabeel).

Like Probabeel, Zourion was also purchased by David Ellis CNZM as a yearling at Karaka, and subsequently on sold to Cambridge Stud. 

An outstanding looking filly, Zourion was secured for $475,000 at the 2022 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Pencarrow Stud. 

“It's an incredibly valuable win for a filly like her and, really, everything she does in the future will only add to it,” Ellis said.

“I'm thrilled for Brendan and Jo to get what looks like another special filly and we know what a huge thrill they get out of these good fillies. 

“They own Cambridge Stud, they put so much of themselves into racing in this country and we're proud and honoured to be training these good horses for them.

“They also have a share in Tokyo Tycoon and Dynastic, who also won today, and they're standing two young stallions that we trained to win Group One races, Embellish (Savabeel) and Sword of State (Snitzel).” 

Zourion is from one of the most naturally gifted family of thoroughbred racehorses you could wish for.

While dam Irion, by Danehill son Danroad, won four races to 1600 metres, the quality of horses below second dam Dopff is in some way unprecedented for ability.

Winning eight races, including a Group Two 1600-metre race and two listed 1400 metres, Dopff left seven individual winners of 33 races. 

The distaff line has left impressive winners Octapussy (Octagonal), Pussy Willow (O'Reilly), Pussy O'Reilly (O'Reilly), Valpolicella (Red Ransom), Vavasour (Redoute's Choice), Shezzacatch (Savabeel), and Travimyfriend (Tavistock). 

Sire Zoustar, havving won six of nine starts, including two Group One and Group Two, became one of most sought after stallions in Australia, following the premature demise of his sire Northern Meteor (Encosta De Lago), a Champion First Season Sire.

In turn, Zoustar was Champion First, Second, & Third Season Sire. 

Zoustar was sold to stud for $14 million in the week leading up to his victory in Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Flemington, which provided jockey Jim Cassidy his 100th Group One winner. Cassidy claimed Zoustar to be “a better three-year-old than Redoute's Choice and more brilliant than Pierro”.

Zorion carries a Danehill cross through dam line of Zoustar and sire line of Irion. 

Accepting the trophy, Jo Lindsay said: “I'd like to thank Mark for training Zourion, and Opie for a spectacular ride, and also the Matamata Racing and the sponsor of the day J. Swap.

“I'm not sure where we'll go from here, but she certainly does show a lot of promise.”

Zourion was strapped by Stephanie Hyde-Richards.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


Sign up to our newsletter