Horses To Follow » Zorija Rose

Zorija Rose

Zorija Rose put up a nice performance to win the six-furlong handicap on the opening day of the flat season at The Curragh on Sunday, the third leg of a remarkable opening day 3,387/1 four-timer for trainer Tommy Stack. Sent straight into the lead from flagfall by Billy Lee, the Oasis Dream mare showed plenty of pace to lead the field at a decent clip in the early stages. She picked up impressively two furlongs out when her rider asked her, and she kept on well all the way to the line to record an easy win.

Assistant trainer Fozzy Stack’s main worry about Zorija Rose beforehand was whether or not she would have the pace to go with them in the early stages over six furlongs, a fairly legitimate concern given that she had never raced over a distance shorter than seven furlongs before in her life, but he needn’t have worried. She was well at ease at six furlong pace, probably assisted by the easy ground, which seems to be a pre-requisite. The time of the race was good, the fastest comparative time on the day and almost up to Racing Post par time, and the manner in which she did it was good.

Stack obviously has his team in fine form now, for an early-season drive, and Zorija Rose should be worth following now even off her 8lb higher mark. Even though she won her maiden over a mile at Leopardstown on good ground in June 2008, she is almost certainly at her best on soft or heavy ground, and this six-furlong trip could be her optimum now on this ground. It would not be surprising if Stack turned her out again fairly sharpish now that she is in such good form and while the ground remains soft. She could be good enough for a listed race.

21st March 2010