Simon Zahra

Simon Zahra.

Zahra counts down for G1 hopefuls

With General Beau’s connections having paid the $55,000 late entry fee for the Blue Diamond Stakes, attention now turns to Tuesday afternoon's barrier draw having locked in Jamie Kah for the ride fresh off her Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning success.

“We would love to draw barrier four or five,” co-trainer Simon Zahra said.

“It would be nice to be a bit off the fence and let the speed go.

“He charged a bit last start so would be good to see him drop his head.”

Zahra said the Brazen Beau colt has given them no reason not to pay up for the $1.5 million G1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) after his most recent win in the Blue Diamond Prelude.

“The horse looks unbelievable,” professed Zahra.

“We’ve trained him to be peaking third-up he was big first-up and blew out of steam second-up albeit they ran quick time.

“History says not too many win all three but he has done nothing wrong.”

Kah has ridden General Beau in all four outings and is sure to attract admirers for his rider alone.

“She knows him well, she helped educate him in September last year and handles him well so he is ready to go,” Zahra explained.

Ellerton and Zahra Racing’s last runner in the Blue Diamond was in 2012 with Formidable while Crystal Lily ran sixth two years earlier before going on to win the Golden Slipper.

Kah will partner another of the teams Group 1 hopefuls on Saturday when Zoutori resumes in the $500,000 Neds Oakleigh Plate (1000m) - a race he finished second in last year behind Pippie.

“I think he is going better than last year heading into the race,” Zahra explained.

“He had a good spell and not an over-taxing spring.

“His trial last Friday was awesome.”


Zahra said Zoutori was likely to head to the $1.25 million G1 Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 6 at Flemington following Saturday’s race.

The stable who have also nominated Sword of Mercy for the Oakleigh Plate and said they were “90 per cent sure” she would take her place with Dean Holland expected to take the ride.