Flamberge ready for crack at back-to-back Goodwoods

May 19, 2016

His draw looks terrible on paper but Ellerton Zahra Racing has Flamberge primed for another Group 1 win in the Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.

A wide draw didn’t worry the sprinter when Flamberge won last year’s edition of the Goodwood from barrier 16 and has drawn barrier 17 for his title defence.

The gelding notched another win at the highest level in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in March.

Flamberge was transferred to the care of Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra after the William Reid Stakes and the trainers put South Australia’s feature sprint on his agenda.

The son of Exceed And Excel struggled at his only run for the stable in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney in April but Zahra said Flamberge had improved since.

“He just didn’t enjoy racing on the shifty track in Sydney,” Zahra said.

“We were still learning about him then so we’ve been able to get a really good look at him since.

“He went to a paddock for a couple of weeks after the TJ Smith and that did him the world of good because his work since coming back into the stable has been really good.”

Damian Lane will ride Flamberge in the Goodwood.

Ellerton and Zahra have six runners engaged at Flemington on Saturday with the smart sprinter Durendal to make his return to racing in the Straight Six (1200m).

Durendal enjoyed a terrific preparation in the early summer period, notching three straight wins, including a stakes success in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on New Year’s Day.

Last-start Flemington winner Euston Road will attempt to notch back-to-back victories when she competes in the National Hall of Fame Handicap (1200m) with Chris Symons aboard.