Galaxy victory first G1 for Godolphin sprinter Zapateo

David Murray
Dave Murray

Zapateo complemented her marvellous race record and rewarded Godolphin head trainer James Cummings for his planning and perseverance when she sprinted home hard on Saturday, 23 March to win the The Galaxy over 1,100m  at Rosehill Gardens.

Already a winner of five Stakes races, the five-year-old Brazen Beau mare etched the first G1 on to her pedigree page by beating Sunshine In Paris by a head with Front Page a long head away in third place.

Cummings had meticulously planned Zapateo’s program and jockey Kerrin McEvoy rode a brilliant race, parking the mare in fourth spot to the home turn before challenging for the lead.

Zapateo sprinted hard to grab the lead in the final 50m to take her record to eight wins, with nine placings, from 25 starts for prize money and bonus earnings of $1,740,250.

“She’s such a good sprinter, she’s got an incredible record and now she’s got that G1,” Cummings said.

“It’s a huge effort for the team to put the polish on a horse like this, who has come through her career just getting better and better.

“She just needed that G1 on her CV and with the right preparation we had great faith there was improvement in her.

“She’s just improved every time she’s come back into he stable and Kerrin gave her run-of-the-race stuff.”

“Now she’s got that G1 on her CV it’s huge for her and huge for the farm (Darley).”

McEvoy said he was extremely confident during the race, even though the leaders pinched a little break on him at the top of the home straight.

“She got into a beautiful spot and I travelled like the winner the whole way,” he said.

“I thought, ‘I’m in a dream position here’ but they left me a little bit at the top of the lane.

“I was a tiny bit worried, but 100m later when I got into her she hit into overdrive and away she went.

“I changed hands and pulled the stick through and she said ‘righto, game on’.

“James picked this race out, she ran a brilliant race (second) in the Challenge Stakes and got in with a nice weight (53kg) today.

“She’s just a tough, genuine and talented mare.”

Cummings now has several options options for Zapateo, including the G1 T.J. Stakes at weight-for-age over 1,200m at Randwick on 6 April.

“We’re nominated and we’ll give it some thought, she was definitely well weighted here,” Cummings said.

“But we could just keep her fresh for Adelaide.

“It’s an exciting win and it’s worthwhile we can celebrate this weekend and worry about that champagne problem later.”

Forty minutes earlier, the Cummings-trained Traffic Warden (Hugh Bowman) ran home strongly to finish fourth in the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1,200m) after a slow start.

The two-year-old colt is now likely to target the G1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1,400m at Royal Randwick on 6 April.