Benefactress made history as the first winner for the new Simon Zahra Racing operation when she improved sharply to score at Geelong.
Simon Zahra Racing formed on December 1 after he and former training partner Mathew Ellerton decided to go their separate ways at the end of the spring carnival. Zahra and his team took time to bed down their systems in the month of December before Benefactress gave the Flemington operation a great reward for their work at Geelong.
“The whole team has worked really hard and done a great job to get things up and going,” Zahra said.
“We have worked through all the challenges starting up so quickly and we’re ready to start producing the winners regularly.” Benefactress ran fairly without threatening over 1300m and 1400m at the first two runs of her summer preparation before stepping up to 1720m in the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap at Geelong.
Zahra’s decision to add blinkers to Benefactress’s gear was the final touch in the four-year-old’s return to winning ways. It was fitting jockey Damian Lane steered Benefactress to Zahra’s first win training on his own since 2009.
“It’s good to be a part of that and it’s really good to still be part of the team on both sides,” Lane said.“This mare, she’s been a little bit disappointing this time in but it’s good to see her bounce back. “The blinkers just helped her travel. “She still left the barriers a bit slow, but it was a blessing because she got a lovely run behind Vivacious Award.
“Stepping up in trip in helped as well and everything fell into place at the right time.”
Congratulations to Benefactress’s owners on becoming the first winners for the new Simon Zahra Racing team.
A huge thanks as well to all the staff and everyone involved in this historic win.