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Zabeel Target for Devise

Tuesday, 5th December 2017

The connections of Devise are hoping the well-related mare can secure an elusive top-flight victory on Boxing Day, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 4YO daughter of Darci Brahma finished runner-up to NZ Horse of the Year Bonneval in last season's New Zealand Oaks and she will get her chance to go one better at the top level in the Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie. "She's a fantastic mare and her form is right up there with the best in New Zealand," said Shaune Ritchie, who trains her for breeders The Oaks Stud. "We'll probably run her in a Rating 85 mile on Waikato Cup day and then the Zabeel Classic, it's a race we think she can be very competitive in." A winner of 3 of her 11 starts, Devise resumed on Melbourne Cup day with a win over 1400m at Ellerslie before running third over the same trip behind the highly-regarded Love Affair at Pukekohe. "In her first-up run she sat three wide all the way and then second-up over 1400m again was trainer error, she was looking for a mile," Ritchie said. Black-type success would boost Devise's value significantly as she is a half-sister to the multiple stakes winner Zurella. Both Devise and Zurella are out of the Volksraad mare Doneze Girl, a granddaughter of Shadea, dam of champion racehorse and stallion Lonhro. This is also the family of champion sprinter Lankan Rupee, Victoria Derby winning stallion Grosvenor, and Australian Oaks winner Mahaya.

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