Cox Plate hopeful Zaaki lands Eagle Farm win
Zaaki reinforced the belief his connections have that he is a genuine Cox Plate contender with a dominant display with victory in the inaugural running of the Group 2 Q22 at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Zaaki, who is rated an 11/4 chance for the Moonee Valley feature in October, backed up his emphatic Group 1 Doomben Cup success with another impressive victory at Eagles Farm.
The European import brought his first Australian campaign to a close in the $1.2 million contest and trainer Annabel Neasham, who only took out her licence at the start of the season, immediately put the spring on the agenda for the gelding.
"I'm just so lucky to have a horse like this. I just can't believe I got a horse like this so early on," Neasham said following the six-year-old's latest success, a length and a half defeat of dual Group 1 winner Homesman.
Zaaki, a two-time Group 3 winner in Britain when trained by Sir Michael Stoute, has now won three of his five starts since joining Neasham, starting his campaign with a creditable sixth in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile back in April.
"I've loved him from day one," the winning trainer continued. "From day one, he's looked like he's going to be a star. You don't run them in a Doncaster first-up unless you have a big opinion of him.
"He has just held onto his condition and form. I just wish the Cox Plate was in two weeks."