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Winter's The Right Time For Zouphoria To Blossom

By Ray Hickson

There’s an expectation from co-trainer Adrian Bott that this winter will be a good one for lightly raced filly Zouphoria, starting with Wednesday’s Kensington meeting.

The three-year-old, a winner of two from eight, returns to her comfort zone second-up in the Headwater @ Vinery Stud Handicap (1400m) after a midfield finish down the Flemington straight on resumption.

Bott, who co-trains with Gai Waterhouse, said it was a run she had to have to get her campaign started and has brought her on nicely.

Adrian Bott (Pic: Bradley Photos).

“We were struggling to find a suitable place to kick Zouphoria off,’’ he said.

“It wasn’t entirely suitable but it got her up and going, I thought she ran well. She’s improved nicely off the back of that and probably looks better placed.

“Potentially we could try to stretch her a bit further if we need to this preparation, out to a mile, but that (1400m) looks like her sweet spot.”

Zouphoria, $4 with TAB on Tuesday, notched her maiden win over the Kensington 1400m second-up last preparation then backed it up in Saturday company just over two weeks later.

Bott said she showed a glimpse in the Group 3 Vo Rogue, where she ran fifth beaten under two lengths, that she’s above average and has more wins in her this winter.

“I think she can go through her grades,’’ he said.

“We tested her in good company last campaign, she wasn’t far off them in group company up in Queensland.

“She’s got to start taking on the older mares now, so she’s got to take that next step and show that improvement but I reckon she can.”

Mostro has had a stop-start career to date that’s seen him race just twice, six months apart, but Bott said he’s also a horse in for a fruitful off-season.

The gelding hasn’t raced since he was runner-up, beaten four lengths, to subsequent stakes winner Arctic Glamour at Rosehill back in September.

He’s trialled twice going into the TAB Handicap (1150m), the latest a comfortable win at Randwick on May 31.

“He seems to be back in good order the way he’s trialled,’’ Bott said.

“First-up last campaign he was well beaten on the day but I thought he ran well and the form and the form out of that well and truly stood up.

“He has to carry a bit of weight to kick off, he’ll appreciate getting out a bit further in time as well, but he seems a nice progressive horse and I’d like to think he will be competitive.

“It’s a perfect time of year for him to be here and go through the grades.”

All the fields, form and replays for Wednesday’s Kensington meeting

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