Huge finish to December for Ellerton Zahra Racing

Jan 03, 2019

Ellerton Zahra Racing signed off for 2018 with a flourish in December with the Flemington stable notching a dozen victories in the final month of the year.

November had brought Group 1 success when Aristia scored a memorable triumph in the VRC Oaks for trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra, a wonderful band of hard-working staff and great stable supporters First Light Racing, who syndicated the filly.

Ellerton Zahra Racing refused to rest on their laurels in December, confirming their status as one of Melbourne’s top summer stables with seven city wins in a run that began with Exceltara’s victory at The Valley on December 1.

Exceltara swept home to score with Luke Currie in the saddle while classy sprinter Prezado returned to winning form at the Pakenham stand-alone meeting on the next Saturday.

Craig Williams guided Prezado to his first win since his brilliant Melbourne Cup day win last year when the son of Denman over-ran his rivals at Benchmark 78 level at Pakenham.

The stable only had to wait another six days for another city win when Freeze Over out sped her opposition at The Valley on December 14.

Smart Coupe carried First Light Racing’s navy, gold and white silks to another Flemington win when she proved too strong down the straight the next day while Matty continued to thrive at The Valley when he claimed another win at the unique track on a wet Friday night, December 21.

Fallen Empire crowned a successful comeback from a long-term injury with a dominant Flemington win a day later while Rock ‘N’ Gold benefitted from a smart ride from apprentice Liam Riordan to provide a Christmas thrill for his owners at Caulfield on Boxing Day.

“We always target the summer period because there are so many meetings on, which gives us plenty of opportunities to find the right races for our horses,” Zahra said.

“We’ve done it for a few years now and it has been very successful for us and the prizemoney just keeps rising so it gives owners a great chance of a good return.”

The provincial circuit also provided a great pointer to the future of the Ellerton Zahra Racing team with another six horses recording wins.

Shamexpress three-year-old Kaipaki broke his maiden at Kyneton on December 6 while Something Serious lived up to the promise she had been showing on the training track when she led home a stable quinella at Geelong on Boxing Day.

Christmas week continued to produce plenty of presents for the stable when Heir Of Tavistock and Racorza won maidens at Cranbourne on December 28 and Necessitas was the team’s last winner for 2018 when she was too good in a Seymour maiden on December 30.

“We had 12 individual winners for the month, which showed the team has plenty of depth to it and that is an exciting thing for everyone at the stable, the trainers, staff and owners,” Zahra said.

“Results like that are a great indication that we’re going about things the right way and finding good horses, getting them right physically and mentally and we’re finding the right races for them, which is really pleasing.

“It was a great finish to 2018 but 2019 could be even bigger for the stable.”

Ellerton and Zahra aren’t resting on their laurels with the pair on the hunt for the next stable star at various yearling sales in both Australia and New Zealand over the next three months so stay tuned for news of the team’s latest ownership opportunities.