Horses To Follow » Zabeel Champion

Zabeel Champion

Zabeel Champion ran a fine race to finish second in the 10-furlong handicap. A prominent racer when he won at Newmarket in June and again on the July Course three weeks earlier, he couldn’t get to the front on this occasion. He wasn’t that sharply away and he couldn’t match the early pace that Iffraaz and Note Bleu showed. No better than mid-division and three wide as they rounded the home turn, he came under pressure early on the near side, but he responded well, he stayed on well all the way to the line, racing on the old raced-on ground towards the outside. He beat all the fancied horses in the race, but was just done by the 50/1 shot Junkanoo, who came fast and late through horses on the far side, on the fresh ground.

Mark Johnston’s horse raced like he could appreciate a step up in trip, and that notion is backed up by his pedigree. His dam won over a mile and a half, and he is a half-brother to Dame Maillot who won the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting earlier this month. Zabeel Champion is a progressive horse anyway, this was just his sixth race, but he could improve again for stepping up to a mile and a half. He could do better too back on easier ground.

Goodwood, 30th July 2020