Zimbali scores at Australian debut

Peter Moody thought French import Zimbali had little chance of winning Wednesday’s Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap at Sandown (1600m).

Zimbali had not raced since missing a place at Maisons Lafitte in October 2013 as Moody battled to get the import to acclimatise with preparations in both Sydney and Melbourne.

A host of minor issues kept Zimbali off the scene until Moody was able to give him a jumpout at Caulfield but the son of Hurricane Run gave every indication he would need time and more ground to show his best.

However, Zimbali defied his trainer’s expectations to roll the well-backed favourite Northern Lyric to score at his Australian debut.

Northern Lyric had things his way in front but jockey Luke Nolen was able to steer the five-year-old home along the inside to get home by a half-length.

“He was a little spec horse,” Moody said. “He didn’t cost a lot of money at all and he came out here and we couldn’t quite get him right for a while so we put him away.

“He surprised us today. I thought he’d need another lap on his work at home. I just said to Luke, ‘give him a squeeze or he will be 20 lengths behind them in the run’.

“He’s travelled up and I was keen to see him hit the line like that.”

Moody said Zimbali had “good improvement” in him as he progresses to longer races during his autumn campaign.



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