THE consistent trotting mare Ima Ziabee continued her steady form by notching up her 11th career win at Shepparton on Tuesday night.
Trained at Longlea by Glenn Sharp, the eight-year-old daughter of Tennotrump made the most of her good fortune to score a half-neck win over the fast-closing Dances, with Im Miss Royalty running another solid race for third.
Driver Josh Duggan, who has partnered Ima Ziabee in all but one of her career wins, including three at Shepparton, surprised some by not electing to roll to the front on the mare.
He was instead prepared to bide his time behind the $2.40 favourite Cmon Carl Lee over the 2190m trip, with a good break emerging when the leader galloped with about 300m from home.
That enabled Ima Ziabee ($5) to stroll to the lead and from there was she never headed despite Donna Castles aboard Dances doing her utmost in the home straight to narrow the margin.
READ MORE: Hard Rock Shannon strikes at Shepparton
Duggan insisted it was always his intention to trail Nathan Jack on Cmon Carl Lee and have them cart him into the race.
"That was always my plan. Ima Ziabee, she's probably better over the short than she is the long," he said post-race on TrotsVision.
"The times she has led over the long (trip), I've only crept forward and found the front and today (Tuesday) I had to burn a little bit.
"Nathan (Jack) had a fair bit of steam up out wide, so that was always my plan to sit on Cmon Carl Lee.
"She did knock off a little bit (in the straight), but she did keep getting to the line."
Ima Ziabee advanced her overall record to 11 wins and 19 placings from 87 starts for earnings of $51,760 for her owners Glenn and wife Christine Sharp.
Her ultra-consistent record this season includes two wins and three placings in seven starts, following on from two wins and a second from four starts to end 2021.
The Sharp-trained mare's only unplaced efforts this season have come in her heat of the Lyn McPherson Breed for Speed Bronze Series at Bendigo last month, where she finished fifth behind the Brett Shipway-trained Black and Gold, and in the final at Melton when she finished sixth behind Paris Faith.
In between, she finished second in the second heat of the series at Shepparton over the shorter 1690m trip.
Ima Ziabee has accounted for both of Sharp's two wins this season.
Getting to the line well for third, Im Miss Royalty - trained at Huntly by Bill White and driven by son Ian - was chasing a fourth straight win after victories at Kilmore and Charlton in January and another at Kilmore in February.
READ MORE: Dual award win for Mystic Chip
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.