Mossman gelding Royal Zulu Warrior resumed from a long lay-off to score a cracking victory in the G3 Lebelo Sprint in South Africa on Tuesday night.
Royal Zulu Warrior (6g Mossman – Dark Blue by Wallenda) showed no signs of being ring rusty when he annihilated a smart field of short-course horses by more than three lengths under lights at Turffontein. He clocked a super-quick time of 55.82 seconds for 1000 metres.
The Australian bred gelding had been touted as a G1 candidate for the 2011 Durban July after opening his career with a winning hat-trick. But a leg injury kept him in cotton wool until his return after 20 months on the sidelines.
Winning rider Karl Zechner was understandably thrilled after helping prepare Royal Zulu Warrior for the comeback. “I keep telling people how good this horse is. Fair enough, he’s had problems and needed to get his confidence back. But the team have done an unbelievable job.”
Royal Zulu Warrior is trained by Kom Naidoo for owner Durban-based businessman Roy Moodley. Connections indicated the gelding will now be set for the G1 Computaform Sprint (1000m) at Turffontein on April 27.
The latest off-shore result has increased Mossman’s black-type tally to 21 stakes winners of 42 stakes races. The Vinery sire’s overall record reads 269 winners of 766 races at a 68% strike-rate.
Mossman has 11 yearlings entered for the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions and his colt from Irish bred mare Basamaat (Danehill) received a significant update when his older half-brother Mr Big won the Magic Millions Malaysian Classic on Sunday.
Catalogued as Lot 420, the colt is being offered by Robyn Wise (as agent). Mr Big is yet to miss a place in 19 starts and his priors include feature wins in the Magic Millions Juvenile, Aushorse Golden Horseshoe and Kranji Sprint. He was also runner-up in the G1 KrisFlyer International Sprint earlier this year.
– Karl Patterson