Zoujea earns her chance at stakes level

Mathew Toogood
Dual provincial winner Zoujea gets her chance at a stakes win in the Twilight Glow at Sandown

After back-to-back provincial wins, lightly raced filly Zoujea gets her first chance to chase a stakes race at Sandown.

The Danny O'Brien-trained Zoujea registered a maiden win at Sale in the first start of her spring campaign then added another victory as a short-priced favourite in a benchmark race at Bendigo on October 30.

She steps up in grade again in Saturday's Listed Twilight Glow Stakes for three-year-old fillies at Sandown and will also be tried over 1400m for the first time having raced over 1100m in her three career starts.

"She is a nice style of Zoustar filly and she has run very well every time we have run her," O'Brien said.

"This looks a nice chance to give her a chance in a better race.

"We think the 1400 metres will suit but we'll find out on Saturday."

Zoujea will be ridden by Stephen Baster who finished fourth on the filly when she made her debut at Flemington in a race for two-year-old fillies in June.

Baster will be competing at his final meeting on Saturday before beginning a new career as a real estate agent.

The jockey, who has won 14 Group One races during his 28-year riding career, has three mounts at his final meeting.

He will partner the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained debutante Dubai Star in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes, while his final ride will be aboard the Logan McGill-trained Gold Fields in the Group Three Sandown Stakes.

Zoujea was at $19 on Friday for the Twilight Glow, with the Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained Xilong the $2.70 favourite.

Xilong won twice in Adelaide this spring before a close third to Akari in the Listed Desirable Stakes at Flemington last week and Tony McEvoy expects her to be better equipped in her second attempt at 1400m.