Zourion a 0249

Undefeated Pencarrow Graduate Shines in Breeders’ Stakes

A rising star of Pencarrow Stud’s broodmare band was credited with her first stakes winner when unbeaten two-year-old filly Zourion (NZ) (Zoustar) scored a smart win in Saturday’s $120,000 Group Two J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

By Zoustar out of the stakes-performed Irion (NZ) (Danroad), Zourion was bred by Pencarrow Thoroughbreds Ltd, who offered her in Book 1 of Karaka 2022. She was bought by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis for $475,000. She has now had two starts for two highly impressive wins, earning $76,840 with much more in store.

Zourion was a debut winner at Taupo on February 7, and she took the next step in impressive style on Saturday. Ridden by Opie Bosson, she dropped back in the early part of the race but cut the corner at the home turn and burst to the lead.

Highly rated rival Lowe Flying (NZ) (Tivaci) chased hard down the straight, but Zourion kicked away in the colours of Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay to win by a length and a quarter. The rest of the field finished another six lengths behind the first pair.

“She really is a high-class filly and she has it all ahead of her,” trainer Mark Walker said.

“You do have to think about whether you are doing the right thing by tackling a race like this so early in her career, but she is just so tough and thoroughly professional that it seemed well worth it.

“It is great to win a race like this for Brendan and Jo and the whole Cambridge Stud team, and I think the best thing about it is that I have no doubt she will be even better as a three-year-old in her next campaign.

“I’m going to sit down and talk with the team, but I’m leaning towards maybe spelling her now. She is in for a big season next time in with a number of very winnable races available to her.”

Zourion is the third foal to race out of Irion, and she is also the exciting mare’s third winner.

First foal Ipso Facto (More Than Ready) was a winner last year, while the hugely talented Pearl Of Alsace (NZ) (Tavistock) has had four starts for four wins and is likely to race in black-type company this autumn.

“Irion has done a great job getting to three winners from three foals to race so quickly,” Pencarrow Stud manager Leon Casey told RaceForm recently.

“Zourion has begun her career on a perfect note, and she should only get better from here. She was a lovely type as a yearling, and it was no surprise to us that she sold so well at Karaka and has since come out and performed on the track.

“Irion herself is an outstanding type, and she’s by Danroad, who’s suddenly become a factor as a broodmare sire.”

Irion raced in the blue and white colours of Sir Peter Vela and won four races, along with placings in the Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m) and Group Three Cuddle Stakes (1600m).

“We bought Irion as a yearling and raced her, and she was a highly talented mare that I don’t think we ever quite saw the very best of,” Casey said.

“She broke the track record for a mile at Hastings one day (1:32.92 in February of 2015), and she placed in a couple of Group races, so she achieved a fair bit from a relatively small number of starts.

“It was great to sell her filly by Super Seth for $260,000 at Karaka this year, and she was bought by Shaune Ritchie, who trains Pearl Of Alsace.

“Irion went back to Super Seth again after that, and now she has a very nice colt on the ground. He was a later foal, but we’re thrilled with him. He’ll go forward to the sales next year.

“She was one of our last mares to foal this season, so we didn’t breed her this year. She’ll head across the Tasman and go to an Australian stallion next spring – given she’s empty, it’s much easier to send her over there.”