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Payne: Caulfield Cup Ideal Target For Zanbagh
Patrick Payne has described new stable acquisition Zanbagh (Bernardini-Wild Iris, by Spectrum) as the "ideal Caulfield Cup horse" ahead of the mare's seasonal opener in Melbourne on Saturday week, reports horseracing.com.au. Previously trained by the late Guy Walter, Zanbagh is about to embark on an ambitious spring campaign geared towards the $3 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on 18 October. "We think she's an ideal Caulfield Cup horse. With the way she's rated at the moment and the way the weight scale is, it should suit her," Payne told AAP this week. The 4YO daughter of Bernardini and Australian Oaks winner Wild Iris will resume in a 1500m handicap at Moonee Valley on 23 August before heading to another non-stakes race under the same conditions over a mile a fortnight later. Zanbagh will then have her third run in the Gr3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on 20 September. "The Naturalism Stakes will determine where we go with her," Payne said. The Naturalism Stakes winner is exempt from the Caulfield Cup ballot and Payne confirmed that should Zanbagh win that race she would definitely be an acceptor for the world's richest mile-and-a-half handicap. "If she was able to win that then she would be showing signs she is a Caulfield Cup horse," he added.