Stakes Next for Exciting Zoustar 2YO Filly

 In 2017, News

Mark Walker’s rip-roaring season produced another milestone victory at Taupo on Tuesday when the Te Akau head trainer unveiled highly regarded Zoustar filly Zourion to deliver on debut.

Walker was credited with his 1000th New Zealand success courtesy of Zourion, who scored at the first time of asking in the Placemakers Taupo 2YO (1100m).

“I was getting pretty close to the mark before I left for Singapore and it’s great to tick that off today for sure,” Walker said.

Zourion was sent out a dominant favourite off the back of an impressive trial win at Tauranga last month and improved quickly to lead after a tardy beginning.

She was hotly challenged 150m from home by Sako before rallying to beat the Stephen Marsh representative by half a-length with the winner’s stablemate Sky On Fire finishing third.

“I think it was a good effort because she only went into it with a 700m trial and the filly that ran third is a stakes winner and I’d heard quite good things about the second horse,” Walker said.

“I think the form out of the race will be really strong and if we’re happy with the way she pulls up we’ll probably run her in the Group II Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).”

The daughter of Zoustar was a $475,000 purchase out of breeder Pencarrow Stud’s draft at Karaka, and has been nominated for the Group I Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) but Walker isn’t daring to dream just yet.

“We’ll get to Matamata first and small steps at a time. We’ll just wait and see how she progresses,” he said.

Zourion is raced by Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay and is the third winner from Group II placed Irion, a daughter of Group II winner Dopff.