Zest looked seriously promising in two runs last season, but had failed to build on that form this season. She was beaten by a whisker on her debut at Haydock as a two-year-old, before opening her account in testing ground at Doncaster. Although she won the maiden, it was not helpful for her long term career, as she ran very keenly off a slow pace and couldn’t get herself covered up.
James Fanshawe has always held Zest in high regard, and her maiden form was good enough to support her lofty reputation. On debut, she finished in front of subsequent dual Oaks runner-up, Architecture, and the runner-up from her Doncaster race, Very Dashing, won her maiden on her next start just a fortnight ago.
Zest began the season at Kempton in a conditions race at Kempton, when starting well-fancied despite being 21lbs wrong at the weights with the eventual winner, Marenko, a subsequent Group 3 winner. She continued to run too keenly to do herself justice at handicap level, hence her trainer was reluctant to step her up to a mile and a quarter. She showed so much speed and a great turn of foot on Newmarket Heath in the mornings that James felt she had to prove herself at that distance first.
Her pedigree has strong stamina influences, however, being out of the Club’s homebred broodmare, Affinity, who was by Sadler’s Wells out of Kalinka, making her a blue-blooded half-sister to Soviet Song and Penzance. Zest settled very well in her race at Nottingham today, when a faster pace would have helped. Once angled out by Tom Queally, she stayed on strongly once the penny dropped. She still looked in need of the experience and should rate an even better prospect next time as James will hope to find us some Black Type somewhere along the line this season.
It is marvellous for Zest to repay the great faith James has always had in her, whilst providing the Club with a remarkable 350th winner.