Pearcedale trainer Wayne Vassallo is cautiously optimistic that undefeated youngster Zambora Markie can continue the perfect start to his career at Sale on Sunday in the heats of the Dunkleys Machinery Rising Stars (440m).
Zambora Markie could not have been more impressive in two runaway Warragul 400m victories, the most recent on Tuesday when he clocked a near-record 22.17s, just a tenth of a second outside the mark held by Aston Bolero, a multiple Group-winner and record-holder.
“He’s promising and is doing everything right but he’s only won over 400m so far,” Vassallo said.
“He was only a couple of lengths outside the Warragul record on Tuesday. The track is in good order at the moment but he’s won both races pretty easily.
“In his first start he went straight to the front but he was probably more impressive on Tuesday because he missed it a bit and had to work around them.”
WATCH: Zambora Markie go within a couple of lengths of the Warragul track record over the 400 from box six.
A son of former superstar Zambora Brockie, bred and raced by Zambora Brockie’s owner Charlie Azzopardi, Zambora Markie will continue his progression in the $10,000 to-the-winner Rising Stars series, restricted to sprinters with 1 – 4 wins.
“It’s going to be a bit harder because he’ll be racing against dogs that have had about 10 more starts and a couple more wins,” Vassallo explained.
“He’s been to Sale before and I saw this race coming up so I thought we’d get a couple of runs into him and see how it worked out.
“He’s very inexperienced. He didn’t have a heap of trials before he raced and he’s still working things out as he goes along.
“He’s always showed a lot of speed but early on there was a question mark about his strength but he’s kept improving and getting stronger with each run. Hopefully he’ll keep stepping up, with a bit of luck.”
Group 1-winning mentor Vassallo only has five dogs in work at present, with three being members of the April ’18 Zambora Brockie – Zambora Cross litter.
“Zambora Smokey won his maiden at Ballarat on Saturday night, while Zambora Lion is unraced and he’s still pretty green, compared to Markie.”
The Rising Stars Final will be one of the support features at the Sale Cup meeting on Boxing Day night.