Zoustar: could take another step to Royal Ascot on SaturdayPICTURE: AAP
Ascot hope Zoustar runs at Randwick
Preview: Australia, Saturday 6.22am GMT (live on ATR)
Randwick: Canterbury Stakes (Group 1) 6½f, turf, 3yo+
ROYAL ASCOT hope Zoustar (Chris Waller/Jim Cassidy) faces the stiffest test of his career at the Sydney autumn carnival on Saturday when he takes on a top-quality field in the Canterbury Stakes.
Described as "the next big thing" by Sydney's champion trainer Chris Waller, Australia's top three-year-old sprinter is set to spend the summer in Britain after the sale of a significant share to Sheikh Fahad.
On Saturday he faces his elders for the first time as he bids to complete a four-timer at Randwick - and jockey Jim Cassidy is anticipating another bold showing from a horse who already has a pair of Group 1 victories to his name.
"I'm sure you are going to see a magnificent horse parade on Saturday," said the veteran jockey, who landed his 100th Group 1 triumph on Zoustar in November in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, the colt's sixth win in eight career starts.
"He is starting to turn from a boy into a man," added Cassidy. "He is starting to develop all over from his shoulder through to his hindquarters."
According to the betting market, Zoustar's chief rivals are likely to be his fellow three-year-old Not Listenin'time (Hawkes team/James McDonald), two lengths adrift in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, and Red Tracer (Nash Rawiller) a nine-time Group-winning mare also representing Waller, who has four runners altogether.
Winner of five of her last six starts, all of them in Group 1 or 2 company, Red Tracer could be heading to France in the summer. She likes a bit of give, and the ground at Randwick is described as slow.