6 JAN 22 | Racing Copy

New Zealand-bred five-year-old Zebrowski ran out a strong winner of the Gr.3 January Cup (1800m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night for trainer Caspar Fownes.


The son of Savabeel relished the strong tempo to come from mid field under Joao Moreira to score in the city circuit’s only Group race of the season.


Runner up in the 2020 Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) behind Quick Thinker when prepared by Team Hawkes, Zebrowski has now won two of his seven races since being sold to Hong Kong and has raced consistently in the upper grades.


Fownes is confident Zebrowski will flourish even further over longer trips and has earmarked the Gr. 3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) at Sha Tin on 1 May as a long-range target.


“He's a horse that's definitely on the improve and I think his best races are going to come towards the end of the season as he gets to a real staying trip,” Fownes said.


“From day one I said to the owner that I think he's a real Queen Mother horse. We'll just see how he pulls up and try to find something around the 2000m back at Sha Tin.


“From day one he hasn't run a bad race and he probably should have at least another win under his name, he's raced really well.”


Bred by Windsor Park Stud in Cambridge, Zebrowski is a sibling to Group winners Leebaz, Polish Knight and Euro Angel, dam of this season’s stakes-winner Mr Mozart being from star producer Polish Princess, a stakes-winning daughter of Polish Precedent.


Zebrowski is the 124th stakes-winner for Waikato stud’s champion sire Savabeel.


Yonce unbeaten after strong Sandown win


Promising trial form in New Zealand prompted an Australian ownership group to purchase a half-share in Yonce and the successful play for the daughter of Proisir now looks a shrewd piece of business.


Yonce was a debut winner when first produced over 1200m at Mornington before Christmas and the four-year-old mare followed up at Sandown yesterday with a runaway victory over 1400m.


Trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace for a syndicate that includes prominent owner Ozzie Kheir, she was sold after trialling twice from Ross McCarroll’s Cambridge stable.


Yonce was ridden in both Australian starts by John Allen, who believes the mare will be suited over further ground.


“She gave me a beautiful ride. She was lovely and relaxed and got into a nice rhythm. She has really progressed this filly. I had a bit to do with her before her first start, and obviously she won well there, but she has taken the next step today,” Allen said.


“The team were pretty confident she could win again today. She kept stretching out and was strong through the line so she is a filly that will no doubt get over a bit more ground in time.


“The owners should have a bit of fun with her.”


Yonce was one of a number of New Zealand breds to show up on the metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney programs on Wednesday, with Zacinto gelding Lucky Decision recording his second win from three starts for Peter Moody.


Well-bred mare Our Modena opened her Australian account when winning over 1300m at Sandown in the colours of Milan Park.


The daughter of Tavistock and Zenella was a two-time winner in New Zealand from the stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman before she transferred to Patrick Payne.


The Baker and Forsman team also originally prepared progressive stayer Made By Khan, who won over 2200m at Warwick Farm for Adam Duggan, with the son of Mongolian Khan extending his record to four wins and three placings from 11 career starts.