Snitzel filly wins Wakeful Stakes on Derby Day

Zennzella returns to the Flemington mounting yard as Snitzel’s 128th stakeswinner - and the fourth bred by Gerry Harvey. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Before Saturday, Flemington was the scene of 34 stakes victories by the Snitzel tribe including Redzel’s Darley Classic, Snitzerland’s Lightning Stakes and a pair of Australian Guineas wins, by Wandjina & Shamus Award.

Zennzella’s terrific performance to notch up number 35, the $200,000 Wakeful S. 2000m G2, a fortnight after her excellent maiden win at Pakenham, was worthy of an exuberant, post-covid Derby Day.

Zennzella’s jockey James McDonald – who won 4 races on the card – said, “It was no surprise for me, she’s the most beautiful attitude filly who just went about her business in a really good fashion.”

Asked whether he’d recommend backing her up in Thursday’s $1 million VRC Oaks G1, McDonald replied, “I don’t know whether they’ll back her up in the Oaks, but she’s got the constitution to do it…let’s run her!”

As Racing.com reports, history would support that decision. A total of 85 Wakeful winners have contested the VRC Oaks, with 38 then winning the 2500-metre Classic five days later, while the highest-placed Wakeful finisher who has gone on to the Oaks has won the event over the past four years.

Aristia (2018), Miami Bound (2019) and Willowy (2021) completed the double, while Personal won the VRC Oaks in 2020 after finishing second to Victoria Quay in the Wakeful.

Zennzella is the 5th stakeswinner by Snitzel sold at Magic Millions 2021. The others are Best of Bordeaux  & Stroll (both also Baramul graduates), Lofty Strike & Arrowfield graduate Wee Nessy. (PHOTO: Baramul Stud/Magic Millions)

Bred by Gerry Harvey, Zennzella is the 4th stakes-winning filly descended from Najaba (by Touching Wood) who won the 1990 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ S. LR in New Zealand.

Najaba’s Sir Tristram daughter Imzadi left Listed winner Chartreuse, in turn the dam of New Zealand Filly of the Year Platinum Witness, whose five wins included the 2014 NZ One Thousand Guineas G1. 

Another daughter of Imzadi left the very good New Zealand mare Zennista (by Zenno Rob Roy), runner-up in the 2011 New Zealand Oaks G1 and the winner of six Group & Listed Races across a 53-start, six season career. 

Baramul Stud bought Zennista for $200,000 in 2018 and promptly sent her to Snitzel, producing  Zennzella, sold as a yearling for $350,000 at Magic Millions to Kennewell Racing and Mathew Becker’s Group 1 Bloodstock.

She is prepared for a group of owners, including Ozzie Kheir & John O’Neill, by Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, who celebrated their first Wakeful Stakes victory with the stable’s 6th Snitzel-sired stakeswinner after Away Game, Bella Rosa, Bruckner, Generation & Macroura.

Zennzella is the third stakeswinner bred on the Snitzel/Sunday Silence sons cross after Arrowfield graduates Reloaded and Akari.  Baramul Stud has her yearling full sister, with a second full sibling due this Spring. 

As for Snitzel, he heads the Australian Sires’ Premiership by stakeswinners with 8 in the first 90 days of the 2022/23 season, and holds his top 5 spot on a volatile earnings premiership with $4.9 million.  

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