When things don’t work out it can prove to be a very frustrating time, especially when travelling to the other end of the country. Batal Zabeel quickly made up for it though when he took his first career win, proving too strong in the 5f Willerby Holiday Homes And Lodges Nursery Handicap at Beverley.
Batal Zabeel had shown a lot of promise on his first 3 starts, finishing only a neck runner up on his third start to an eventual group placed filly. Rather than use his handicap mark, the colt remained in maiden company when travelling down to Sandown. Jinxing left coming out of the stalls caused the jockey to loose his irons almost immediately. Despite this hinderance, Batal Zabeel still ran well and was actually involved for a long way.
Returning to Yorkshire, he would take on handicap company for the first time with Shane Gray in the saddle. Jumping smartly, Batal Zabeel was into his stride and moved forward from the outside draw. With only 6 runners he found it quite easy to track and sat on the leaders girth as they blazed through the first furlong.
Travelling powerfully throughout the contest he passed the 2f going best of all. Shane began to niggle away and his mount moved through to press for the lead. Down his outer, the favourite was trying to get rolling too but was a length down on Batal Zabeel.
Hitting the front Batal Zabeel just began to lug into the rail and this gave the favourite a sniff. Hitting the rising ground they were alongside each other but Shane was yet to really go for his mount. Getting him gathered up and balanced, Shane could now ask for his big effort and the colt responded. For a second he looked in trouble but was running straight and true, the 2yo found some momentum. With 1/2f to run he had hit top gear and began to edge away from his rival. Just a couple of flicks saw Batal Zabeel go on to win by a length, doing his best work late on.
Batal Zabeel has progressed with each run and is doing better mentally with racing. He hasn’t run a bad race, even when the mishap happened last time out, and deserved to get off the mark. Winning off a mark of 77, Batal Zabeel looked to have a bit in hand and can improve off this mark. Nursery company will still be in his plans and he can certainly progress through the ranks.