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Mayfield-Smith hopeful unbeaten Zouna can measure up

Fri 3 May 2024

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Lawrie Mayfield-Smith’s feet are firmly planted on the ground and he won’t go home sulking if his smart colt Zouna’s unbeaten record ends at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

But, that’s not to say he doubts Zouna’s chances when the youngster makes his return in the Listed Dalrello Stakes over 1000 metres.

Mayfield-Smith will use the Dalrello Stakes as a gauge to the colt’s winter carnival prospects.

The son of Zousain won on debut over 1110 metres at Doomben in early March then was given two weeks off following his latest victory over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm on March 23.

“He had two weeks out after his last win and he’s coming along well,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“He had a jump out recently and went very well.

“Adin Thompson is riding him and he says he feels a lot stronger now and there looks to be a lot of speed in the race which suits.”

Mayfield-Smith has been in white-hot form with five winners from his last eight starters and has earmarked the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400 metres and Group 1 J. J. Atkins over 1600 metres at Eagle Farm as his winter targets.

“I’m not training any different it’s just that I’ve got better horses in the stable right now,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“I’ll know in Zouna’s first two runs back where he ends up and whether he’s good enough for those races.

“If he’s up to it, the Sires' Produce and J. J. Atkins will be his goal.”

Mayfield-Smith rates Zouna as the best horse in his stable and one of the kindest.

“He’s the best horse in my stable at the moment until he gets beaten,” Mayfield-Smith joked.

“If he gets rolled I’m not going to sulk over it.

“He’s a lovely horse and for a colt he’s never nipped me or anything.”

The 73-year-old Mayfield-Smith is Brisbane’s longest serving trainer but has never won at the highest level despite winning a host of top races during his career.

He went close to claiming his maiden Group 1 when Sonata finished second in the Queensland Oaks in 1996.

His best win was with Post Elect who won the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick in 1990.

After beating a well-documented battle with bowel cancer and other health problems in recent times, Mayfield-Smith is enjoying training his small team of around six horses.