Zazabeau primed for Summer Cup
Leading Summer Cup contender Zazabeau is primed for the Group Three event after a solid hitout between races at Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Bart Cummings took the opportunity to give the gelding a workout on raceday, a formula that has proved successful in the past.
"Whenever we do these exhibition gallops we seem to be successful," Cummings said.
"I’ve won Doncasters and other big races with horses after they have done it.
"It would have been three weeks between runs for Zazabeau so he will benefit from the gallop."
The winner of just two of his 25 starts, Zazabeau demonstrated a new found maturity when he beat Rainbow Styling at Rosehill on December 5.
On Saturday he worked with stablemate Sir James, edging him out on the line, running his final 600 metres in 34.79.
"It was a good effort and I’m happy with that," Cummings said.
"He’s a typical Zabeel and he’s taken a long time to mature but he has now."
Among his opposition on Boxing Day could be Rainbow Styling who scored a comprehensive win over 2000 metres on Saturday.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said Rainbow Styling would more than likely back up in the Summer Cup as long as he came through the race as expected.
"We’ll see how he pulls up and if he pulls up well then the plan is to go to the Summer Cup," Hawkes said.
"It was encouraging the way he won heading into 2400 metres."
Zazabeau finished third in the 2008 Summer Cup with Rainbow Styling fourth after the pair ran second and third in the Christmas Cup.
Both races were won last year by Ready To Lift.
New Zealand stayer Solid Billing is expected to make the trip to contest the Summer Cup.
Trained by Craig Ritchie, Solid Billing recent form includes a third in the Group Two Counties Cup (2100m) won by Boundless.
At his most recent start, Solid Billing ran fifth in the Group Two Avondale Cup (2200m) on a slow track.
The five-year-old by Rock Of Gibraltar has won four races from 1600 to 2200 metres from his 22 starts.
By Caryl Williamson