River Mist’s gaping Werribee victory might initially have drawn attention only because of four-length margin.
But the significance of the success stretched far further for co-trainers Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra.
Successful in their own right as purely Flemington-based operators, the pair was recently granted additional licences to train at Kyneton and at Yungaburra Farm, at Newham, near Hanging Rock.
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The Darren Weir-trained River Mist (L). Picture: Tony GoughSource:News Corp Australia
River Mist was the stable’s first winner trained out of Newham – and Zahra believes the complex will continue to deliver.
“We’ve sort of taken a while to set it up and get it going with (owner) David (Moodie),” Zahra said
“We’ve freshened a lot of horses up there, Zoutori is up there, and we’ve got plans to train a big team out of there eventually.
“We can pre-train there and it’s great for older horses to freshen up. We’ve got 32 boxes there and there are plenty of paddocks.
“River Mist went there about a month ago. She missed a start last Saturday but, after we got a licence for Kyneton, she was able to gallop there on the grass last week. She bowled up the hill on the farm and then won on Saturday.
“We took her up there as a bit of a test case and it’s worked out really well.”
Simon Zahra (middle) is chuffed with the success of River Mist. Picture: Jay TownSource:News Corp Australia
Ellerton, Zahra and Moodie have modified a 2200m sand circuit, which includes a gradual 1400m ramp to the top of the hill.
“We can pre-train on the hill track on there,” Zahra said.
“We can work our horses at Kyneton on the gallop on the grass and the sand
“We can then put the older horses in the paddock during the day who need something different.”
Zahra said the property, which is managed by Paul Cummins, afforded the stable the same variety fellow Flemington trainers David Hayes and Danny O’Brien have with their country complexes.
“We think Yungaburra is a great place to send horses,” Zahra said.
“Danny has had a lot of success bringing horses into Flemington from Thirteenth Beach, it really works for him.
“We’re only at the start of it but it really helped River Mist.”
Ellerton and Zahra also notched a Caulfield double with Forever Free and Oasis Girl on Saturday.
Zahra said Zoutori would probably be aimed at next month’s Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville.
Originally published asCountry base reaps quick return for Flemington duo
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