Zabeel Classic

Zabeel Classic

Group One Betting Guide
Date: Thursday, December 26, 2024
Location: Pukekohe Racecourse
Prize Money: NZ$450,000
Distance: 2050m

The Group 1 Zabeel Classic is a 2050m thoroughbred race held on Boxing Day (December 26) each year under weight-for-age conditions.

Formerly known as the Auckland Classic and later the Japan Racing Association Classic, the race is now named in honour of Zabeel – a four-time New Zealand champion sire who produced the likes of Might And Power, Octagonal and Vengeance Of Rain.

In 2005, the Zabeel Classic was moved from January to December, which resulted in the race being run twice that year.


2024 Zabeel Classic betting odds

Markets for the 2024 Zabeel Classic are currently unavailable.


Best Zabeel Classic bookmakers

All of our recommended online bookmakers offer all-in and fixed-odds betting on the Zabeel Classic, but only some open their markets early. Follow the links in the table below to find the best odds for the 2024 Zabeel Classic.


Zabeel Classic News

Aegon returns to pet distance
Trainer Andrew Forsman is looking forward to getting his Group 1 winner Aegon back to a mile at Otaki on ...
Campionessa sheds bridesmaid tag in Zabeel Classic
Campionessa shed her Group One bridesmaid’s tag at Pukekohe Park on Boxing Day when recording a well-deserved victory in the ...
Mazzolino
In-foal mare Mazzolino already has that motherly glow according to trainer Stephen Marsh, and he is hoping she can translate ...
Forsman to relocate Victorian stable to Flemington
Having established a base at Macedon Lodge, Andrew Forsman is relocating his Victorian stable after being granted 13 boxes at ...
No Compromise
No Compromise will bid to add a home Group One title to match his Australian efforts when he opens the ...
Aquacade poised for Group 1 Zabeel Classic
Gifted performer Aquacade has bounced back from a last-start hiccup and is on target to execute a long-term plan when ...

Zabeel Classic betting guide

Notable winners of the Zabeel Classic include Danzdanzdance (2018), Kawi (2015), Veyron (2012), Sir Slick (2007), St Reims (2005), Hail (2003), Giovana (2002), Zonda (2001), Vialli (1998), Star Dancer (1995/1996), All In Fun (1994), Horlicks (1990) and Waverley Star (1986).

The Zabeel Classic received Group 1 status in 1987, the year after the great Waverley Star claimed victory.

Since 2000, four jockeys have won the Zabeel Classic on multiple occasions: Opie Bosson (2004, 2018 & 2023), Leith Innes (2005, 2015), Bruce Herd (2005, 2006) and James McDonald (2011, 2019). Even the great Damien Oliver has tasted success in the Zabeel Classic, having taken the race out back in 2001.

With the Captain Cook Stakes being run three weeks earlier under weight-for-age conditions, it has been a strong form reference for the Zabeel Classic in recent times, although only Danzdanzdance (2018) has done the double.


2024 Zabeel Classic Field

HorseBetting will update this page when the 2024 Zabeel Classic field is released.


Previous Zabeel Classic Fields

  • No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
    1 Silks
    Aegon
    Andrew Forsman
    Michael McNab
    6
    59kg
    2 Silks
    No Compromise
    Chris Waller
    Ryan Elliot
    5
    59kg
    3 Silks
    Prise De Fer
    Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson
    Blake Shinn
    3
    59kg
    4 Silks
    Gino Severini
    Bruce Wallace & Grant Cooksley
    Kozzi Asano
    2
    59kg
    5 Silks
    Platinum Invador
    Lisa Latta
    Jonathan Riddell
    11
    59kg
    6 Silks
    One Bold Cat
    Robbie Patterson
    Craig Grylls
    9
    59kg
    7 Silks
    Mali Ston
    Darryn & Briar Weatherley
    Sam Weatherley
    8
    59kg
    8 Silks
    Campionessa
    Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson
    Opie Bosson
    4
    57kg
    9 Silks
    Aquacade
    Lance Noble
    Vinnie Colgan
    1
    57kg
    10 Silks
    Kelly Coe
    Ashley Meadows
    Matthew Cameron
    7
    57kg
    11 Silks
    Mazzolino
    Stephen Marsh
    Sam Spratt
    10
    56kg
  • No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
    1 Silks
    Prise De Fer
    Mark Walker
    Opie Bosson
    4
    59kg
    2 Silks
    Defibrillate
    Graham Richardson & Rogan Norvall
    Warren Kennedy
    7
    59kg
    3 Silks
    The Mayor
    Mike Moroney & Pam Gerard
    Craig Zackey
    11
    59kg
    4 Silks
    Harlech
    Mike Moroney & Pam Gerard
    Cameron Lammas
    6
    59kg
    5 Silks
    Chase
    Stephen Nickalls
    Jonathan Riddell
    2
    59kg
    6 Silks
    Soldier Boy
    Gavin Sharrock
    Sam Weatherley
    3
    58kg
    7 Silks
    Polly Grey
    Chris Waller
    Michael McNab
    1
    57kg
    8 Silks
    Sinarahma
    Allan Sharrock
    Craig Grylls
    8
    57kg
    9 Silks
    Cheaperthandivorce
    Roger James & Robert Wellwood
    Vinnie Colgan
    9
    57kg
    10 Silks
    Le Sablier
    Karen Fursdon
    Masa Hashizume
    5
    57kg
    11 Silks
    Slave To Love
    Peter & Dawn Williams
    Sam Spratt
    10
    57kg

2023 Zabeel Classic result


1stCampionessa (+200)
2ndNo Compromise (+140)
3rdAquacade (+100)

Recent Zabeel Classic winners

  • Campionessa shed her Group One bridesmaid’s tag at Pukekohe Park on Boxing Day when recording a well-deserved victory in the Zabeel Classic (2050m). Previously runner-up in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2050m) earlier this year, Campionessa returned in the spring where she disappointed in her two outings at Hastings and the decision was made to put her aside for summer racing. That decision by trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson has proven to be a masterstroke, with the daughter of Contributer recapturing form with a first-up victory in the Group 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe last month before winning the Group 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa 10 days prior. She was duly backed into $3 favouritism for Tuesday’s Zabeel Classic and didn’t disappoint her backers. After jumping away well for jockey Opie Bosson, she was settled in the trail behind pacemaker Kelly Coe and enjoyed an economical passage throughout. Entering the straight, the pair had to fight for room in between the leader and Mazzolino and eventually found a passage. In the centre of the track, Sydney raider No Compromise was full of momentum and loomed like the winner at the 200m, but Campionessa was able to fight back and hold on for a neck victory.
  • Graham Richardson savoured one of the highlights of his career as Defibrillate brought a long-range plan to fruition in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2050m) at Pukekohe on Boxing Day – a second consecutive triumph in the weight-for-age feature for Richardson and his training partner Rogan Norvall. The eight-year-old son of Shocking finished third in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) in October in his first start back on home soil, then won the Group 3 Balmerino Stakes (2050m) at Pukekohe on November 1. That prompted Richardson to start working towards the Zabeel Classic, run over the same course and distance some eight weeks later. When the big day finally rolled around on Monday, Defibrillate held up his end of the bargain, stepping out of the shadows of favourites Sinarahma and Prise De Fer and claiming his first win at the elite level. Defibrillate was given a perfect midfield ride by South African jockey Warren Kennedy, settling into a smooth rhythm in fifth and one off the rail. Sydney-based mare Polly Grey set a solid tempo out in front throughout the race, and she threw down the gauntlet to her rivals with a kick at the top of the straight. But Defibrillate and Prise De Fer emerged from the pack and soon wore down the front-running grey mare, surging past and clearing out to fight a two-horse battle to the finish. Last-start Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) hero Prise De Fer gave it everything he had but Defibrillate found a little more in the final 100 metres and kicked away to win by a length and three-quarters.
  • Veteran galloper Tiptronic led all the way to take out his second career Group One prize when he captured the Group 1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie. The Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall-trained eight-year-old had hinted he could return to his best form when finishing on strongly for third in the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at his most recent start. The son of O’Reilly had finished fifth in the race a year earlier after being forced to sit three-wide throughout, however this time rider Ashvin Goindasamy followed Richardson’s instructions to the letter as he took Tiptronic to the front and set a steady pace throughout. Goindasamy upped the tempo approaching the home turn and it was obvious he had his rivals in trouble as Tiptronic slipped two lengths clear early in the run home. Refusing to yield, Tiptronic held out a brave bid from runner-up Vernanme, holding on to win by a length and a half as race favourite Two Illicit produced a late run to take third.
  • Having finished second in the Captain Cook Stakes earlier in the month, the Roger James & Robert Wellwood-trained Concert Hall claimed Group 1 success in the Zabeel Classic. Concert Hall had looked a Group 1 winner in waiting throughout her career having won four individual stakes races before her success in the Zabeel, but had struggled to breakthrough at the top level. Stepping up to her preferred 2000-metre distance, her winning chances appeared to have been dashed when Vinnie Colgan found himself last of the eleven runners with just 600 metres to run, however with a genuine tempo out in front, the six-year-old mare managed to grind home down the centre of the track and was the one who finished off best.
  • Premier NSW jockey James McDonald had made the trek back across the ditch for the Zabeel Classic and it was all made worth it when JMac partnered True Enough to victory for Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman. McDonald rode True Enough to victory in the Thames Cup (1600m) in January and nearly a year later he reunited with the six-year-old gelding to record a Group 1 victory. The son of Nom du Jeu had been in a purple patch of form that season, recording three wins and two placings from five starts, including victories in the Group 3 Red Badge Sprint (1400m) and Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m), and a last start placing in the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.
  • History was made at Ellerslie when the Christopher Gibbs & Michelle Bradley-trained Danzdanzdance became the first horse to claim the Captain Cook Stakes / Zabeel Classic double. Ridden by Opie Bosson, Danzdanzdance settled at the rear before circling the field rounding the turn and after she straightened, she lengthened on the heavy ground to win easily. The grey mare made a mess of her rivals, with placegetters Lizzie L’Amour and Jon Snow beaten by 3.5 lengths and 8.1 lengths respectively.
  • Having finished third in the previous two runnings of the Zabeel Classic, Authentic Paddy finally broke through for a maiden Group 1 win with an upset win in the 2017 Zabeel Classic. Having gone around as $21 chance, not many gave the Lisa Latta-trained gelding a chance in the race, but under a perfectly rated front running ride from Trudy Thronton, the son of Howbaddouwantit simply never looked like getting run down in the home straight.
  • Despite being sent a round as a $41 chance, the Stephen McKee-trained Consensus caused one of the biggest upsets in Zabeel Classic history. The five-year-old mare responded to urgings from Alysha Collett to get the better of race favourite Volkstok’n’barrell, who had been majorly backed late into a very tight quote. With the favourite finding plenty of trouble in the home straight, it was Consensus who reaped the benefits with a nice turn of foot.
  • Despite Kawi’s imposing record of nine wins, two at Group 1 level, and six seconds from 20 starts there have been plenty who have questioned his talent at top level, particularly the Ellerslie right-handed way around. However, in the 2015 Zabeel Classic, the Allan Sharrock-trained son of Savabeel broke his Ellerslie maiden tag in the best way possible.

Zabeel Classic past winners list

Zabeel Classic Past Winners since 2000
Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2023 Campionessa Opie Bosson Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson
2022 Defibrillate Warren Kennedy Graham Richardson & Rogan Norvall
2021 Tiptronic Ashvin Goindasamy Graham Richardson & Rogan Norvall
2020 Concert Hall Vincent Colgan Roger James & Robert Wellwood
2019 True Enough James McDonald Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
2018 Danzdanzdance Opie Bosson Christopher Gibbs & Michelle Bradley
2017 Authentic Paddy Trudy Thornton Lisa Latta
2016 Consensus Alysha Collett Stephen McKee
2015 Kawi Leith Innes Allan Sharrock
2014 Soriano Rory Hutchings Graeme & Debbie Rogerson
2013 Historian Matthew Cameron Gary Alton
2012 Veyron Rogan Norvall Linda Laing
2011 Shez Sinsational James McDonald Allan Sharrock
2010 Booming Vinne Colgan Jeff Lynds
2009 Vosne Romanee Matthew Cameron Jeff Lynds
2008 Gallions Reach Sam Spratt Richard Yuill
2007 Sir Slick Bruce Herd Graeme Nicholson
2006 Mikki Street Bruce Herd Lisa Latta
2005 Bazelle Jason Waddell Paul Jenkins
2005 St Reims Leith Innes Chris McNab
2004 Lashed Opie Bosson Graeme Rogerson & Stephen Autridge
2003 Hail Greg Childs Bruce & Stephen Marsh
2002 Giovana Peter Johnson Carol Marshall
2001 Zonda Damien Oliver Roger James
2000 Rebel Linda Ballantyne Val Langsford
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