Zabeel gelding Zabrasive was an unplaced favourite in the G1 AJC Australian Derby but it was business as usual elsewhere for Cambridge Stud’s champion sire on Saturday.
Zabrasive was far from disgraced when beaten less than two lengths in the classic. “We will live to fight another day,” trainer John O’Shea said. “There’s a race on the first Tuesday in November and to have a horse in a $5 million race would be wonderful in itself.”
Less than an hour later Zabeel reached a career-defining milestone when his mare Jessicabeel won the G2 Chairman’s Handicap at Randwick. She is a stablemate of Zabrasive and will now start in the G1 Sydney Cup next week.
“She got a good ride and galloping room and that is what Zabrasive needed,” O’Shea said. “It makes a big difference to the Zabeels when they get room. They just don’t like being cluttered up.”
The Chairman’s Handicap helped Zabeel equal Sir Tristram’s record of 130 individual stakes winners. He went one ahead of his own sire later in the day when Brother Mak won the Listed Melvista Stakes in Perth.
Zabeel is rising 24 but is still active at Cambridge. He is still five shy of Sir Tristram’s record of 45 Group 1 winners but can reduce that margin this month with Jessicabeel in the Sydney Cup and Brother Mak in the WATC Derby on April 24.
Brother Mak (3g Zabeel – Enhancer by Red Tempo) is trained by Wally Mitchell and his Ascot stables have housed gallopers the calibre of Australian Horse of the Year Placid Ark. “He’s the real deal,” Mitchell said on Saturday. “Once he got out it as more a less all over. The Derby will be his forte and I think he’ll be a real cups horse.”
A powerfully built Zabeel gelding, Brother Mak was a $260,000 buy out of the Cambridge Stud draft at the 2008 Karaka yearling sales. His dam Enhancer has foaled 8 winners and they include the Zabeel feature winners Able Master (G1 Auckland Cup), Ismailia (Star Belle Classic), Exaggerate (G2 Singapore QEII Cup) and Accumulate (G3 VRC St Leger).