Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra’s biggest purchase steps out for Caulfield debut

Simon Zahra says he nearly had a car accident when he heard how much his training partner Mathew Ellerton paid for Fastnet Rock filly Spicy.

Ellerton went to $350,000 to secure Spicy at last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions sale, far beyond the amount the Flemington-based duo paid for yearlings.

Then COVID-19 hit Australia, presenting the stable with the challenge of selling shares in its record purchase.

However, the pressure eased once Spicy had a jumpout in the spring.

“When Matthew bought her, I almost ran off the road,” Zahra said.

“It was hard work but we eventually got her sold.

“Once we saw her trial in her first jumpout, we were pretty chilled after that because we knew what we had and we were able to sell a lot of her based on that.”

Ellerton and Zahra gave Spicy a bit more time to develop after her initial jumpouts. It’s fitting that Spicy will debut in the first race at Wednesday’s Caulfield meeting in Magic Millions week.

Trainers Simon Zahra and Matthew Ellerton will give record yearling purchase Spicy her debut at Caulfield on Wednesday. Photo: AAP Image/Vince Caligiuri.Source:AAP

Spicy’s dam Paprika ran second to the subsequent Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready in the 2009 Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

Zahra said Spicy has shown her mother’s speed but would develop into an impressive three-year-old.

“She’s had a couple of jumpouts this time in and been very impressive so we’re happy to take her to the races and see what she can do,” Zahra said.

“She’s still growing and she’s a nice filly. We’re thinking the spring will be the time for her.

“She’s got speed and she’s got a turn of foot so she’s got everything she needs as a two-year-old but she’s also got plenty of Fastnet Rock in her so she’ll keep developing.”

Damien Thornton will ride Spicy at Caulfield on Wednesday.

TAB has Spicy as a $5 third pick behind the $4 favourite Crazy Ladies and the $4.60 second elect Lady Audrey.

Originally published asBudget breaker to debut at Caulfield

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