Zaila chasing Group 3 success at Te Rapa

Zaila will contest the Group 3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Kylie Hoskin is hoping she has the luck of the Irish at Te Rapa on Saturday, having secured expat Samantha Wynne to ride Zaila in the Group 3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m).

With the jockey ranks thin on the ground at present, Hoskin was struggling to find a lightweight rider for Zaila’s 53kg impost, so took her search to the South Island to secure one.

“We were struggling to get a jockey at that weight and Zaila’s owner came up with the idea of asking Sam Wynne, so I gave her a call and she was really excited to come up. We are grateful to have her onboard,” Hoskin said.

Zaila was a last start fourth in the Listed Fulton Family Stakes (1500m) after posting a second and first in her previous two starts, and horse racing bookmakers have installed her as favourite for Saturday’s feature.

“I said to her (Wynne) that she will probably go out favourite so no pressure, and Sam said ‘pressure is for tyres’,” Hoskin quipped.

Zaila will jump from barrier four and Hoskin said she couldn’t be happier with her charge ahead of Saturday.

“I am super happy with her – she is bright, fit and ready to go,” she said. “It is the perfect draw for her, I am really happy.”

Hoskin will also line-up Chase ‘N’ Gold in the Stayers Championship Qualifier (2400m), with the son of Belardo vying for a berth in the Boxing Day contest.

“Chase ‘N’ Gold is in the stayers’ race, we are just trying to get a few more points for the Dunstan Stayers’ final,” Hoskin said.

“He is working well, I am really happy with him. There is a slight query with Te Rapa, he hasn’t run in the money there yet, but I am hopefully of a good run.

“Billy Jacobson, who rode him at his last start, was pretty keen to stick with him, so hopefully we can make it his first winner.”

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