He produced the run of the day in the Millicent Cup last month and on Easter Sunday, Zebrinz will be back for a chance at redemption in the Penola Cup.
The dual Stakes placed gelding produced a slashing run from the tail of the field in the Millicent Cup to narrowly miss victory from Pass the Glass and Flow Meter but on Sunday the Aaron Purcell trained eight-year-old will be one of the favourites to claim the Limestone Coast feature.
Sunday’s Cup sees five of the runners from the Millicent Cup return to the Penola track including the three Cup placegetters. Out of that race, Zebrinz gets a swing in the weights from the two horses that beat him home that day with a 1kg advantage over Flow Meter and a 2kg advantage over Pass the Glass. While Zebrinz is better off at the weights, there will be a query over him getting the 2100m journey. He’s never won over the mile but has put in some recent good efforts over further trips in the Great Western and Colac Cups.
Sue Jaensch’s Millicent Cup winner Pass the Glass has had a few weeks to freshen up since her victory and while she rises in the weights, she loves the track with one win and three placings from five starts at Penola and has won twice over 2000m in her career. She’s enjoyed an incredibly good year with victory in the Naracoorte Cup and a second placing in the Coonawarra Cup. Her regular jockey Jeff Maund rides her once again and Sue Jaensch is a master of the South East tracks.
El Desperado finished seventh in the Millicent Cup but was only 2.7 lengths off the winner and will probably appreciate the step up in distance on Sunday. The four-year-old won this year’s Strathalbyn Cup over 2050m and will be carrying the minimum thanks to Sophie Logan’s claim. The horse has had a very consistent career with two wins and ten placings from 16 starts.
Victorian visitor Nashville Sound is a very interesting runner from the Daniel Bowman yard. The four-year-old has only had six career starts for one win and four placings and looks a natural stayer. He broke his maiden on his home track at Warrnambool late last year and returned to the track in March to go down by a nose at the same venue over 2000m. His only win came second-up and he will head into the Cup with heaps of confidence knowing he’s got the trip and the State’s leading jockey on his back in Raquel Clark. Carrying only 54kg he is a massive chance to knockoff the Country Cup regulars.
As for the other chances, you can never write off a runner from the John Hickmott yard and he saddles up the two veterans in the race in Flow Meter and Danouli. Sue Murphy’s Hasta La Thomas is always honest and has plenty of success at the Penola track while Phillipe Huserot’s Cause We Can has been in reasonable nick running all over the state.