Low key opening for Randwick
Caryl Williamson
06:33 AEST Mon Apr 1 2013

Randwick Racecourse will open its gates for the first time in five months on Monday for a test run of the new amenities ahead of its autumn carnival feature days.

About 60 per cent of the facilities will be operating but for some, the chance to race their horses on grass that hasn't been used since November is the big attraction.

Among trainer Gerald Ryan's team heading to Randwick is two-year-old Zaba Zaba Doo who runs in the TAB Iphone App Handicap (1200m).

Ryan withdrew the colt from Saturday's Group Two Pago Pago Stakes, preferring to let him make his debut in a lower grade race.

"I think he would have been competitive in the Pago Pago but the Randwick race is a bit easier for his first start," Ryan said.

"And it will be great to run him on a beautiful surface that hasn't been used for months.

"He is a really nice colt but he is out of a Zabeel mare so you would think he would be better as he gets older and over longer distances."

Zaba Zaba Doo is by Snitzel whose progeny have a key place in the Ryan stable.

Ryan trained Snitzel to win the 2006 Oakleigh Plate and has many of his sons and daughters on his books including Saturday's Galaxy runner-up Snitzerland, second in last year's Golden Slipper.

Zaba Zaba Doo was not forward enough to be a Slipper contender but he has been entered for the Sires' Produce Stakes.

In his first barrier trial, the colt finished a close second to Fuerza, third in the Pago Pago and headed to the Sires' Produce.

"I'm not sure what he can do as a two-year-old and we'll see how he goes first but he could head to Queensland for the winter carnival," Ryan said.

There has been no racing at Randwick since Melbourne Cup day.

The first feature meeting will be Derby day on April 13 with restrictions on the number of racegoers due to the ongoing work.

The Australian Turf Club has released an extra 2500 tickets to cope with the demand to see Black Caviar run in the TJ Smith on the opening day, bringing the numbers to a maximum of 25,500.

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