Zaaki destroyed the opposition by seven lengths in the Doomben Cup last year, but trainer Annabel Neasham doesn’t care if her star wins this time in a photo finish.
Superstar Zaaki announced himself with a seven-length wrecking job at last year’s Doomben Cup, but trainer Annabel Neasham would be happy to see him win this time in a photo finish on what is likely to be a heavy track.
He is the prohibitive $1.50 favorite for the $1 million race, but Neasham said his stable star is not at his bright best in heavy terrain, warning he brings some of his rivals into the race.
After his second-dish hitout at Eagle Farm in the space of three days Tuesday morning, Neasham is looking to take out Zaaki’s “freshness,” which made him a handful for jockey James McDonald before the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast earlier this month.
Neasham admits it was an unconventional move, but also a necessary one to put him on track for Saturday, where the connections are also looking to score a $200,000 “Zaaki bonus.”
“It’s not (two gallops in three days) something I would normally do, but he’s fresh and he probably had it too fresh at Hollindale, J-Mac said he needed a seat belt and he traveled a lot so hopefully this is over.” . he took the edge off it a little bit,” Neasham said.
“It’s a fantastic track here and probably the only grass you’ll find here in Queensland at the moment.
“He’s very fired up right now, he has to be driven on and off the track in the mornings, he’s full of beans, but he’s an older horse so you want them that way, he loves life and he loves racing.”
While Zaaki’s superstar status wasn’t fully known 12 months ago, it’s there for all to see now, but Neasham said he doesn’t need to see a repeat of last year’s incredible Doomben Cup win to have him on his way. for another incline on the Cox plate in the spring.
“I don’t care if it’s a photo this time, a win is a win,” he said.
“I don’t think he’s that good in the wet, but he’s in similar form at home (like last year), he doesn’t seem to be getting old.
“Some of the rivals are great wet trackers so I prefer a firmer surface.
“It’s nice to have a horse like him, of course, but you feel an element of pressure.
“When he crosses the line in front, the Hollindale was just a relief, which is strange because it should be jubilation.”
Neasham also has Holyfield in the Group 3 BRC Sprint on Saturday, where the winner gets a ticket waiver for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.
The four-year-old leaves a room at The Archer in Rockhampton earlier this month.
Originally Posted as Annabel Neasham Who Wasn’t Expecting Another Zaaki Demolition in the Doomben Cup