Zoffmira (Image: Racing Photos)

Mahogany bid for improving Zoffmira

As is usual with trainer Paul Preusker, he is playing the long game with rising stayer Zoffmira, but recent developments have the horseman from Horsham sharpening his focus on Saturday's Mahogany Challenge Final (2500m) at Flemington.

There is plenty about Zoffmira that suggests he will be a stayer of some note on the flat or indeed as a jumper into the future.

The three-year-old is out of a half-sister to Grand Annual Steeplechase hero Gold Medals, but it is his attitude and his newfound maturity that has Preusker thinking he may not have to wait seasons before the horse is ready to show his best.

"He's really come together nice and he's just started to want it," Preusker said this week of Zoffmira.

"Ever since we took him out and put him over the jumps and gave him a jump trial he just locked on and got the idea of it and certainly you'd think you could make a case for him there (on Saturday).

"He's certainly showing something and the trip won't be a trouble so we're keen to see what he can do."

Whatever Zoffmira can achieve on the flat, Preusker is certain he can equal if not better when he embarks on a full-time jumping career. But after just eight starts for a 2400-metre maiden win at Geelong, Preusker is in no rush to get him there.

"The thing about him is he's a very good jumper," Preusker said.

"He's getting deep into his prep now and so we might finish off his hurdle ticket after this, I may give him the one start and then park him up and I reckon he'll come back a real good staying horse.

"He was a soft-enough three-year-old so he's only really ready now.

"He's been schooling as a two-year-old but he's just at that stage where he can go to the trials."

While Zoffmira can take another step in his career at Flemington on Saturday, Preusker is expecting his honest galloper I Am Someone can set himself up for a shot at the early season weight-for-age sprints via Saturday's All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m).

"He likes the track and although I'd like to see a little more moisture in the track, he's going to run well," Preusker said.

"I hope he's better than this race so if he runs well, we can button off a little bit and then go again (in the early spring)."