Rising star Mister Zion leads all the way to win the $100,000 SA Cup at Globe Derby
It was a case of dejavu at Globe Derby tonight.
Star horseman Geoff Webster spoiled the Smoken Up party with a masterful front running display with the highly promising ex-kiwi Mister Zion to claim the Gr.1 $100,000 SA Cup in front of a strong crowd who braved the sweltering weather conditions.
Webster made it back to back SA Cups after claiming last year’s event with Mister Swinger.
Mister Zion, the most inexperienced runner in the field with only eighteen race starts to his name prior to tonight’s event underlined the faith shown in him by his shrewd conditioner and claimed the biggest prize of his short yet exciting career.
All the pre race hype surrounded race favourite Smoken Up, the Lance Justice trained and driven star who claimed this event back in 2008 and was searching for his maiden Group victory this season after a string of recent luckless efforts.
Geoff Webster and Mister Zion had other ideas.
Coming off a last start victory in the Cobram Cup, Mister Zion blazed to the lead and withstood constant pressure from fellow Victorian Cincinnati Kid whilst Smoken Up who made a rare mistake shortly after the start was then forced to race three wide for the remainder of the event.
With the lead time posted in 77.8 seconds, Webster allowed Mister Zion to travel comfortably with the first half of the last mile covered in 29.7 and 30.4 whilst his main dangers were working in their respective roles.
Heading down the back straight for the final time, Mister Zion still controlled the speed whilst both Cincinnati Kid and Smoken Up were being called upon for further effort in a 29.3 third quarter.
In the straight, Mister Zion held Smoken Up at bay to win by a half neck whilst Ti Vogliobene made late ground for third.
The last quarter was recorded in fast 27.9 seconds.
The mile rate of 1.58.7 was well outside of the track record of 1.56.9 held by Courage Under Fire who set the mark when winning the Cup back in 2001.
“He traveled well in the lead tonight, he showed good fight in the straight and certainly proved he’s a horse on the way up” a naturally delighted Webster stated.
“It was his biggest test tonight and he took some good scalps, Im very happy with the way he keeps developing” Webster added.
Webster has now won his hometown Cup three times with his first victory coming back in 1999 when successful aboard Ryans Day.
The Red River Hanover gelding has shot prominence this season winning six of his eight starts including his last three straight.
Mister Zion will now return to Victoria for the summer carnival but the long range mission for the four year old could be the Gr.1 Chariots Of Fire at Harold Park on July 31.