Zoffala’s strong staying win
A superb ride by Barend Vorster saw Zoffala return to the winning list at Murray Bridge on Saturday, July 2.
Vorster today registered his 300th winner in South Australia since being employed as stable jockey for McEvoy Mitchell Racing.
The win on Zoffala brought up a double at the meeting and it was appropriate that it was for trainers Tony & Calvin McEvoy.
The South African jockey, who now calls Tanunda home in the Barossa Valley, was at his patient best on the five-year-old.
He allowed the gelding to settle at the tail of the field in the Dutton’s Easy To Do Business With Benchmark 68 Handicap (2500m).
Vorster let the $8 chance improve along the inside and the gelding easily moved up behind the leaders turning for home.
He went to rails in the home straight and Zoffala ran home strongly to win by a half length from Smiling Assassin ($9) with Perfect Illusion ($4.40) a neck away third.
Back in 2020 Zoffala looked a promising stayer, but injury saw him spend 18 months on the sidelines before returning to racing in April.
Trainer Tony McEvoy was delighted Zoffala had returned to the winning list.
“We’ve always liked him as a stayer,” McEvoy said.
“Then one day he lashed out while on a walker and split a hind tendon in half.
“It is not an injury should affect his ability, it just takes an extremely long time to repair.
“Each of his runs back this preparation has been quite good, and today’s race looked perfect for him.”
McEvoy said it had been a perfect ride by Vorster.
“Barend is a patient rider and saved ground when improving from the tail of the field.
“His strength was also a key in the home straight.
“We’ll bring Zoffala back to our Ballarat stables and Calvin and I can look for another suitable race.
“He is a lightly-raced horse and at five we believe he can continue to win his way through the grades.”
Zoffala has won four of his 15 starts and today’s win took his stake earnings past $100,000.