We're looking forward to a big February at Caulfield

Feb 02, 2018

The Caulfield racetrack will host some rich target races for Ellerton Zahra-trained runners during a hectic February for the Flemington-based stable.

Trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra have their team up and firing with two live chances of winning Victoria’s richest two-year-old race, the Group I Blue Diamond Stakes on February 24.

Ellerton and Zahra have already won the world’s richest two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper, with Crystal Lily in 2010 but colts Ollivander and Bionics will form the stable’s challenge on the 2018 Blue Diamond.

Ollivander, a $70,000 Inglis Classic Sale purchase, showed he ranked among the top colts with an unlucky second in the Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield, where he was carted off the track on the home turn before running home well to finish three-quarters of a length from the winner.

Bionics will join Ollivander in the Blue Diamond Prelude for colts and geldings on February 10 after his two promising outings in the spring in which the $180,000 yearling finished second and fourth in his two city runs.

Ellerton and Zahra scratched the exciting three-year-old Prezado from a Group 3 race at Caulfield on Saturday to save the gelding, who has more than trebled his $50,000 yearling price, for the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 10.

Flamberge, who ran a cracking but unlucky fourth with 61.5kg when resuming at Flemington, will join his younger stablemate in the Rubiton Stakes, which is usually a great lead-up to the Oakleigh Plate a fortnight later.

The training duo has earmarked Rock ‘N’ Gold as a lightweight Oakleigh Plate chance after his last-start Flemington win, which was his maiden stakes success, but the victory also took the seven-year-old past the $400,000 mark in earnings – not bad for a $NZ55,000 buy!

The stable’s classy three-year-old fillies Booker and Smart Coupe will also be in action at Caulfield on February 10 when the duo contests the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m).

Booker, the winner of the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) in the spring, will resume in the Kevin Hayes Stakes while Smart Coupe will tackle the race second-up after a great first-up up second at Caulfield on January 27.

The fillies were poles apart at the yearling sales with Booker fetching, and repaying, her $230,000 price tag in prizemoney and an enormous residual value as a Group 2 winner while Smart Coupe, a $22,000 yearling the team found in Tasmania, has taken her owners on a magnificent ride in only five starts that have produced two wins and a Group 3 placing.

February promises to be an exciting time for Ellerton Zahra Racing with great chances in big races while the yearling sale season is in full swing.

There has never been a better time to get involved at Ellerton Zahra Racing and don't forget to visit our website for available yearlings.