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Zumbelina favourite to win four straight

As she shoots for four-in-a-row, Zumbelina is set for one more start before she heads to the paddock to tackle Group races in autumn.

Zumbelina recorded her third-straight city win at Rosehill on November 26, with the three-year-old carrying 60kg as she stepped up to 1400m for the first time.

She drops two kilograms in Saturday’s three-year-old plate at the same track and distance.

Trainer Chris Waller has compared her to star performers Red Tracer and Catkins and is setting her on the same path by targeting next year’s P J Bell and James Carr Stakes.

While bigger things await, the lure of a set weights and penalties race was too great to ignore.

“Fifty eight kilograms is still not a light weight when you’ve got other horses on 53-1/2 but considering what she would be carrying in a handicap it would be silly for us to be in the paddock when there’s good prize money on offer,” Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said.

“She’s a very straight-forward filly and she’s pleased us enormously since her last start win.”

Zumbelina’s development into a promising stakes contender has bookies wary and they rate an odds-on chance to make it four in a row.

Godolphin’s Achi Baba has been supported from $4.60 to $3.40 to knock Zumbelina off her perch.

The Bjorn Baker-trained pair Cadogan and Zubiton are $6 and $7 chances respectively while Arbeitsam, from Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s yard, is at $10 after being scratched from Goulburn on Thursday.

Trainer Matthew Smith has How Sweet It Is in the race, who at $15 is the outsider of the field.

While How Sweet It Is has put together three wins for the preparation, they have all been in provincial or country grade.

“Whatever she does she’s going to be better when she comes back,” Smith said.

“I see a better horse in six months than what I see now when I look at her.”

Smith said the late-maturing filly was a progressive type who would take benefit from every start.

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