Winning debut for Zandita

By John Scanlon


The juvenile filly Zandita made an exciting start to her racing career when running out the impressive winner of a fillies’ novice event at Lingfield on December 20.

The Calyx filly, owned by Markus Graff, was one of seven fillies who went to post for the seven furlong race. Ridden by Franny Norton, Zandita was drawn on the wide outside of the field, while the favourite, Tiaraqueen, had the best of the draw on the rail.

From the outset, Tiaraqueen set out to make all the running, pursued by Mucha Muchacha. For her part, Zandita broke well and raced in fourth or fifth, taking a keen hold.

Turning for home, Tiaraqueen still held sway, but as Moonfire moved forward to challenge between the two early leaders, Zandita came with a run on the outer. Mucha Muchacha took the lead briefly as Tiaraqueen began to falter, but it was soon clear that Zandita was finishing best of all. Taking over in front just before the furlong pole, Zandita kept on well to score by two lengths from Moonfire, with Elderflower a further length back in third.

Zandita cost €26,000 as a foal and is out of H H The Aga Khan’s Dalakhani mare, Zanoubiya. Zanoubiya was lightly raced, but won a fillies’ maiden over a mile and a half at Dundalk as a three-year-old. She has been very successful in the paddocks; her Zannda, by Azamour, won the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes at Cork over a mile and a half, while Zanndabad, by Iffraaj, won four times in France.

With plenty of stamina on the dam’s side, Zandita promises to be even better as a three-year-old when she steps up in trip, but in the meantime this was a very promising first step in her racing career.

Staff Area