Rock On Zariz chases consecutive wins

It took more than 25 years for the colours carried by 1989 Doncaster Handicap winner Merimbula Bay to return to the winner’s stall at Randwick.

Trainer Barbara Joseph was the first woman to train a winner in the race when Merimbula Bay won the Group One mile.

More than a quarter of a century on, some of Merimbula Bay’s owners have remained with the stable and now race Rock On Zariz, a horse who carried the silks to a Highway Handicap win at Randwick last month.

“It was a long time between drinks for those colours to salute at Randwick,” said Joseph’s son Paul Jones who trains in partnership with his mother.

The duo will be hoping Rock On Zariz can make it consecutive wins when she runs in the 1250m three-year-old fillies handicap at Canterbury on Wednesday.

While Rock On Zariz will be stepping up from country grade, Jones said the time recorded in the Highway compared well with higher class races on the day.

“If anything the trackwork rider thinks she’s improved a bit since then so I’m quite happy taking her in there against her own age and sex,” Jones said.

“We’re going there with a little bit of optimism.”

The large syndicate which races the horse also includes sons of Merimbula Bay’s owners.

“It’s a new generation with Merimbula Bay as the common thread,” Jones said.

New beginnings are a theme for Joseph and Jones as they prepare to open a satellite stable on the Sapphire Coast.

They plan to have about 20 boxes at the new stable, with their Canberra base continuing as the main work centre for horses targeting Sydney races.

“We’ve got a beach there not far from the track,” Jones said.

“It’s got a lot of bush tracks and the track itself has got beautiful grass and good sand tracks as well.

“It’s going to be about utilising both facilities to get the best out of our horses.”

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