Santa's not here yet but it's been a great December for EZR
Dec 23, 2015
As is the case in any sport – form comes and goes but the ability to compete against the best doesn’t disappear from most top sportsmen.
Thoroughbred racing is no different in that it has peaks and troughs for all participants but Ellerton Zahra Racing is riding high in December after a quiet spring by design.
Trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra assessed their stable, decided the summer months would provide enormous pickings and set their horses accordingly.
“In August we made a conscious decision that if we didn’t have a group horse, a stakes horse, or a very good three-year-old that was mentally ready, we weren’t going to run them,” Zahra said.
It’s easy to see the decision has been an enormous success. The stable has produced 15 winners in December in a run that has included three doubles – two in the city – and a treble at Echuca on December 17.
"We've got plenty in work and we kept saying we were targeting this time of year," Zahra said.
"The fields aren't big, they're not blessed with a lot of talent and if you get the right horse in the right race you can get a cheap race."
While the wins have been terrific for everyone involved, the month of December has also shown the stable has an abundance of talent.
Promising filly Miss Cooper won by five lengths at Moonee Valley on December 4 while Chilean Wonder, Magna Rossa, Sword Of Light and Crystal Dreamer all emerged as budding city-class horses.
Siding Spring took the step to metropolitan grade with his victory at Sandown on December 9 while Durendal showed his stakes potential with a dominant win at Flemington on December 12.
“That is another terrific thing about our decision to target the summer,” Zahra said.
“We’ve been able to give the younger horses just that little bit more time and get them to the races when they are ready and they have been able to repay that with impressive wins.
“We’ve also had a few near misses with narrow seconds as well in December but those horses won’t be far away from getting a win themselves.
“The staff has done a terrific job and the owners of the horses have been fantastic in letting us take that extra time with their horses. We can’t thank them enough.”