Zareeba Zooms On By

Date: 5 Dec 2019

Zareeba Zooms On By

Zareeba  (4 m Rip Van Winkle - Surooh, by Pivotal) won as a favourite should on Thursday at New Plymouth, when taking out the $10,000 Maiden 2000 metres sponsored by Epsom & Ascot with George (Simon) & Wheels (John Wheeler).

In training for owner/breeder Kevin Hickman ONZM, and racing in the Valachi Downs colours, Zareeba had consecutive thirds in her form line, most recently here in the corresponding event on 1 November, and thoroughly deserved breaking through at her sixth start.

On pace immediately from barrier six and securing cover in fourth heading down the back straight, Zareeba appeared to travel best when peeling out at the 400m and she had them covered after quickening to lead a furlong out. 

It was a copybook ride by Craig Grylls and he had the luxury of coasting home over the concluding stages.

“Her last two runs up over distance have been better than her other runs,” said Te Akau racing manager Libby Richards. “We thought she'd go well today and Craig (Grylls) rode her a treat.”

Lengthening in the market to return $2.60 & $1.40 on the TAB tote, she ran the 2000 metres in 2:05.2 on Dead4 footing.

After levelling atop the premiership with victory by Enrichment (Rock ‘n' Pop) a day earlier at Pukekohe, trainer Jamie Richards advanced to 41 wins for the season, including five Group & Listed, over a million in prize money, and the sharpest strike rate (5.7) amongst the top five trainers. 

“Valachi have been trying to get her in foal, hence why her races have been spaced, but the team at the Middle Barn are doing a great job with her because she's not the most straightforward mare in the world,” Richards said.

“She tries hard and whatever she might lack in natural ability she makes up for with toughness, so if we place her right she could go on and win another one or two.

“It's very pleasing to get a win for Kevin Hickman and Valachi. They're a big part of the New Zealand racing and breeding industry and huge investors. It's always good to see their colours win. 

“Full credit to Craig Grylls for a lovely ride and a great way for him to kickoff his new association with Valachi as their retained rider, with a first-up win.”

Zareeba is a half-sister to talented Valachi owned mare Tantalising (Savabeel), both from a mare (Surooh) by excellent European sire Pivotal (Cozzene). Standing at Cheveley Park Stud, Pivotal took centre stage as a broodmare sire last season with three Group One winners. 

Valachi is offering a yearling colt by Vadamos (Monsun) out of Surooh (Lot 331) at the 2020 Karaka Book 1 Sale. 

Zareeba was strapped by Reece Trumper.

Photo credit -


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