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24/07/02 Smerdon to Train Zabenz in America
r4zabenz3.jpg (11031 bytes)Victorian trainer Robert Smerdon is understood to have agreed to travel to America with the exciting jumper Zabenz when that horse embarks on an international career in the next month.

It is reported that Smerdon will travel with Zabenz when the talented jumper heads to America and the trainer would be out of the country for atleast two months.

Zabenz was sold for a deal worth a reported $250,000 after he scored a dashing runaway win in the recent Grand National Hurdle at Flemington at just his third start over the obstacles.

His new owner, the former kiwi and now European based Michael Watts, is believed to have expressed his interest in having Smerdon travel to the United States to continue training the son of Zabeel.

r1rsmerdon.jpg (8693 bytes)Already connections have their eyes set on some feature jumping events in America, where he is expected to step out at Arlington and Saratoga.

Zabenz has only contested three jumps races - a Trial Hurdle at Flemington, a Restricted Hurdle at Moonee Valley and the Grand National, again at Flemington - and he was won the lot in impressive style.

The exact days for Smerdon and Zabenz's departure is yet to be finalised. It is also unknown exactly how long Smerdon will be out of the country, but that will most likely depend on how the New Zealand bred galloper performs in his initial American outings.

PICS - Quentin Lang.

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