Work in progress galloper Zoff Of The World came through his first staying race with an emphatic victory at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The son of Zoffany has been identified as a horse that will stretch out to a staying trip for some time but as often lacked the racing manners that are required to get a middle distance.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan said trainers Chris and John Meagher have tinkered with training and race day gear on the horse and he is now behaving better before and during his races.
“It is true to say that Zoff Of The World has been his own worst enemy at times, becoming agitated in pre-race parades and then tending to over-race so he has required a lot of attention to get him settled.
“On Saturday we stretched him out to 1800 metres for the first time and he was actually quite dominant in the end, in spite of over-racing in the early stages of the race.
“Rider Matt McGuren did the right thing by letting the horse stride along and when another runner came around him and took up the lead, our horse settled much better and ran out the journey very strongly.
“We have thought the horse would get to a middle distance, but they still have to come out and do that under race conditions. Zoff was very strong at the finish so we can now plan his future with confidence that he can stay.
“It’s one thing to think that a horse can stay, but until you actually try test them over ground you can never be entirely certain,” said Grant Morgan.
“Our biggest concern on Saturday was that the race would be called off due to the heavy rain that arrived just before his race. The track was downgraded but the track was not badly affected but there were fears that visibility would be reduced by the weather.”
Trainer Chris Meagher said Zoff Of The World was quite keen in the early stages of the Gold Coast race but did settle once he was able to trail another horse.
“Once that horse came around him he settled nicely for Matt and did prove pretty strong over the concluding stages and looked to have the race in safe keeping once he ran to the lead turning for home.
“He came through the race in good order and we will give him an easy couple of days before sitting down and planning the next run for him, but the good thing is that we can look forward to him running out 2000 metres with a fair degree of confidence,” said Chris Meagher.
Rider Matt McGuren said he’s got no doubts that Zoff Of The World will run 2000 metres and beyond.
“He was keen early but did settle for me once that horse came around. I think there’s still improvement going to come in his racing manners once he has a few more runs over ground and eventually I reckon he will be able to settle mid-field in his races and finish off strongly,” said Matt McGuren.
Congratulations to our owners in Zoff Of The World: Ontrack Thoroughbreds No I Syndicate, FFoz Syndicate (Neil George Manager), Anne Wade and Jean Weston, Kathryn Adams, Erin Barclay, Christine Chapman, David Dawson, We’re The One Percenters (Manager Adam Engels), Sharon Harris, Steve Kirkham, Mark Lowe, Allan and Brenda Satchell, Len Stone, Stewart Taylor, Alan Jackson, Ken Stocks, Prof Terry Walsh, Babu No 2 Syndicate (Manager Prof James Dale).