Zardozi lays down challenge to star NZ filly Orchestral

James Cummings is welcoming a clash with star New Zealand filly Orchestral after Zardozi served a reminder of her talents with a dashing victory in the Phar Lap Stakes at Rosehill.

The pair is on a collision course towards the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in two weeks and Cummings believes it will be an intriguing match-up.

“That will be interesting. She is a good filly Orchestral,” Cummings said.

“But you can’t have a short memory, you’ve only got to open up the replays from October and see what she (Zardozi) was doing in the spring.”

Zardozi was a brilliant winner of the VRC Oaks in November, while Orchestral has won her past four starts, culminating in a New Zealand Derby victory.

While the former disappointed first-up when she got back in a slowly run Surround Stakes (1400m), she showed her true colours with a brilliant performance on Saturday.

It came off the back of a well-executed plan by visiting English jockey Tom Marquand, who allowed Zardozi ($13) to find her feet early before creeping into the race before the corner.

He saved valuable ground along the inside before sooling Zardozi to the front halfway up the straight to score by two lengths over Makarena ($4) with Kintyre ($6.50) a nose away third.

Cummings says Zardozi will be better again when stretched out to a middle-distance in the Vinery.

“She is a class act. You’ve got to be prepared to forgive her for her first-up effort, there was a lot that went against her,” Cummings said.

“And yet she pulled up from the run well, she has trained on sweetly since then, so we stuck to our guns.

“The Phar Lap is a perfect race for her as a stepping stone to the Vinery (Stud Stakes) and now she gets back to 2000 in a couple of weeks, she is going to look spot-on.”

Fillies have now won seven of the past eight renewals of the Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) but Saturday was the first time either Cummings or Marquand had captured the race.

Marquand said all credit for the success went to Godolphin’s head trainer and his assistant Darren Beadman, who presented him with a winning game plan.

“I won’t take any credit for that one,” Marquand said.

“That was James and Darren’s masterplan, all I did was jump out of the stalls and execute what they were saying they thought would work.

“She’s proven she’s a very good filly before. She didn’t need to step up on what she’s been doing in the past to do that.”

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

Bookmaker Why Bet Sign Up Full Review
Bet Now at ladbrokes Back Yourself with Ladbrokes! Join Review
Bet Now at neds Back a Winner with Neds! Join Review
Bet Now at palmerbet Sign up to Unibet and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at tab Sign up to TAB and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at playup Sign up to PlayUp and start betting in minutes! Join Review