Zantabulous Fabulous

Date: 15 Apr 2024

Zantabulous Fabulous

Deserving of her third career win, Zantabulous (4 m Almanzor – Zantelagh, by Zabeel) was successful in the $35,000 Rating 75 1600 metres on 14 April at Te Rapa.


A dual winner to 1400 metres, the grey Zantabulous had been stifled for room when resuming on the course in February, since finished fourth at both Matamata and Tauranga, and was benefitted by a smart ride by former Te Akau apprentice Wiremu Pinn.

A day earlier Pinn rode two-year-old stable-mate Star Shadow (Reliable Man) to win on debut at Otaki, after recently winning on stable-mate Move To Strike (I Am Invincible) in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Trentham, and he continues to ride in very good form. 

Handily placed on the inner from barrier two, Pinn opted for a run to the inside of runners as the field swung wide turning for home and Zantabulous established an advantage inside the 200m to win comfortably.

It was a good effort from a mare that won impressively earlier in her career and now appears set to consolidate her form. 

Pinn earned bragging rights over his partner Tayla Mitchell, who finished second aboard race favourite Casino Princess after dropping her whip mid-straight.

“She’s a lovely mare,” said Pinn, on dismounting. “There was good speed on, she relaxed beautifully, we cut the corner, and after shifting out to better ground she let down nicely.

“I think next time in, when she strengthens up again, she’ll get over 2000 metres. She’s quite exciting.”

On Soft7 footing that continued to improve, after extensive renovations following Legends Day on 10 February, Zantabulous ran 1600 metres in 1:38.7, last 600m in 36 (approx.), and remained solid in betting to pay $4.80 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB tote.

“It’s great to see her back in the winner’s circle and another nice ride of Wiremu’s,” said Mark Walker, who trains in partnership with Sam Bergerson.

“She’s had a few issues along the way, but it was a promising win today and it looks like she’s in for a good autumn and early part of the winter.

“I think she’ll only improve once we get up over more distance.”

Owned by the Te Akau Zantabulous Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), she was bought by David Ellis CNZM for $220,000 at the 2021 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Cambridge Stud, who stand highly credentialed stallion Almanzor (Wootton Bassett).

“Firstly, I’d like to thank the sponsors (North End Law & BBL Lawyers) of the race and great to have them here at Te Rapa today,” Ellis said.

“Waikato Thoroughbred Racing track manager Bart Cowan and his team did a great job of sowing new grass since last racing here and the track could not have presented in better order.

“Congratulations to the owners in this mare, which includes board members of the club, John and Denise Elstob and Glenn and Catherine Holmes.

“Also to Mark and Sam and our racing manager Reece, who does an incredible job for us all, congratulations along with all our team that works with Zantablulous.

“She’s the second winner we’ve had this weekend by Almanzor, after Nucleozor won the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) so impressively yesterday, and the Te Akau's fourth winner at different venues, having won races at Otaki, Riccarton, Singapore, and now Te Rapa. 

“She’s out of a nice young Zabeel mare that is doing a good job at stud. We trained the half-sister to this filly, Irish Cream (O’Reilly), who was very talented but unfortunately was retired due to injury  after winning her first start by eight lengths.

“Her grand-dam Dantelagh was a great city sprinter in Australia, and there is a very good line-up of sires in the pedigree.”

By one of the best credentialed stallions to shuttle to New Zealand in the last decade, Almanzor (Wotton Bassett) was European Champion Three-Year-Old and claimed the same titles in Ireland and France.

Her dam Zantelagh, a three-time winner to 1800 metres in Australia, is by Champion Sire and Champion Broodmare Sire Zabeel (Sir Tristram), a quality influence in the pedigree of any horse that cannot be underestimated – and in many instances cannot be beaten.

Grand-dam Dantelah, by Champion Sire Volksraad (Green Desert), was a Group One winning sprinter in Australia, multiple placed at Group One & Two levels, and grand sprinting mare that won eight races competing against the best. 

Zantabulous carries a cross of brilliant sire Nureyev (Northern Dancer), a stallion renowned for injecting quality into any breed, the ability to accelerate, and some beautiful movers. 

Zantabulous was strapped by Errol Rich. 

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