New Year Plate 2016: Ellerton-Zahra with two juvenile chances

The in-form Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra stable appears well-placed to play a prominent role in Melbourne’s first city race of the new year.

Ellerton and Zahra have two runners in Friday’s New Year Plate (1000m) for two-year-olds – Echuca debut winner Sword Of Light and debutante Want To Rock.

Sword Of Light won an Echuca 1000m 2YO maiden on debut by five lengths and is the $2.90 favourite while stablemate Want To Rock is at $8.50.

Sword Of Light is out of the multiple city winning mare Joyeuse who was also stakes placed.

Joyeuse is a half-sister to the Ellerton and Zahra-trained Durendal who is favourite for Friday’s Group Three Standish Handicap.

“Sword Of Light is not overly big but she’s very quick,” Zahra said.

“She does a bit wrong like Joyeuse did early doors so she’s really a spitting image of mum.

“She’s got a lot of ability and won really well the other day doing a lot wrong. I’m not sure if the bunch behind her were much good but it was good to see the way she won and she spaced them a bit.

“She’s a nice filly and will probably improve off this.”

Zahra said Want To Rock had been doing the right things and appeared professional with natural ability.

“Her jump-outs have been good, her work has been terrific, so we’re very happy,” he said.

“She had a trial at Werribee and learned a lot that day then she had another jump-out at Flemington.

“We’re really happy where she’s at as well.”

He said they were two really nice fillies to be taking to the races.

“One does a bit wrong but hopefully has improved off her first win and the other one seems a lot more professional when she’s jumping out,” he said.

“Game-day she might do a bit wrong, but we’re hoping to get a guide.”


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