Zabaleta likely to score a win at tonight's greyhound races
ZABALETA shares her name with a soccer star and she should score another win for fledgling trainer Sam Dart at tonight's Lismore greyhound meeting.
The solid greyhound jumps from box five in race four (420m) aiming to improve her career record of nine wins and five minor placings from 17 starts.
Dart, who combines training with his work as a gardener and tree lopper, trained star stayer Dzeko to two recent notable wins at Albion Park.
Another of his charges, Ibra Cadabra, went close to the track record at the same venue on Sunday.
Sam's father John said Zabaleta, who has won her two previous starts from box five and has eight Albion Park wins to her name, could win again here.
"She's so consistent," he said.
"She was unlucky on her last start at Grafton - she couldn't cross over - but she's usually a good beginner.
"Most of her wins at Albion Park have been from boxes four, five or six as well. She just seems to come out well every time.
"This may not look a great box but she can still win."
The daughter of Magic Sprite and 14-race winner Sacheen's Wish enjoys her visits to Lismore, running a super 24.20 over the 420m here in March.
Dart recently trained super stayer Dzeko to a pair of notable Albion Park victories - the Group 1 Gold Cup and Superstayers Invitational.
Dzeko has now returned to Angela Jackson's Victorian kennels but the family should score another win here.
Like Dzeko, Zabaleta was named after a Manchester City soccer player - Argentinian defender Mariano Zabaleta.
She was named by Sam's soccer-mad brother Tim, a City supporter who is currently living in England.
"He's not turned us into City fans," Dart senior said with a grin.
"We're still more into our Australian football.
"Sam has only got into greyhounds over the last two or three years. Tim was the one more interested in greyhounds.
"Sam was more into his fast cars - this has quietened him down a bit.
"It's great to see him achieving wins and enjoying himself. We hope it continues."