Durendal caps brilliant day with Standish win

Jan 01, 2016

Durendal completed his evolution into a Group performer when he completed an amazing day for Ellerton Zahra Racing with his victory in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.

Durendal gave trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra their fourth win of the New Year’s Day program when he claimed the Standish Handicap with all victories coming down the famous straight track at headquarters.

Want To Rock, Magna Rossa and Rough Justice had all scored straight track wins before Durendal comfortably capped a wonderful start to 2016 with his maiden Group victory.

“We have a great lot of staff at the moment, the vast majority are female, and they do a brilliant job,” Ellerton said.

“We have had Group One successes as a team but a day like today certainly measures up to that.”

Damian Lane was also aboard Rough Justice and adopted similar tactics on Durendal, taking him forward to race on the pace early in the $150,000 contest.

Durendal was travelling better than most of his rivals when Lane asked him to sprint approaching the 250m.

The son of Medaglia D’Oro opened a break on his opposition before maintaining his effort to the line to score by a length, notching his seventh win from 16 starts and taking his stakes tally to more than $428,000.

“It has all worked out well for him,” Ellerton said.

“He had a late finish to his last preparation as he ended up in Queensland for the Winter Carnival and he spelled up there, missing the cold winter down here. That could have been the making of him.”

Ellerton said Durendal would head out for a spell after a busy spring and summer campaign that yielded four wins from six starts.

“That was his grand final today,” Ellerton said. “I thought that it was a pretty even Standish at best, he was given a great ride and he got the job done.

“He will probably be in the paddock for a spell by Monday.”

Congratulations to great stable supporters Contract Racing on another brilliant win in partnership with Ellerton Zahra Racing.