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'I wish the Cox Plate was in two weeks' - Zaaki stars for rookie Brit trainer

Annabel Neasham: making waves with new Aussie star Zaaki
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Zaaki matched the hype around his new weight-for-age star status in Australia when he made the inaugural $1.2 million (£660,000/€760,000) Q22 at Eagle Farm his own with a dominant win on Saturday.

The long odds-on favourite was given the perfect ride from James McDonald, who had the horse poised to strike just off the speed. Once he asked for an effort on turning for home, Zaaki put away his rivals.

Less than a year into her training career, Annabel Neasham was awestruck with her horse after he ran clear to beat Homesman by a length and a half.

Zaaki moved to Australia at the start of the season, having previously been trained by Sir Michael Stoute. He won four times in Britain, including in the Diomed and Strensall Stakes.

Zaaki (left): proving a star since moving to Australia

"I'm just so lucky to have a horse like this, I can’t believe I’ve got a horse like this so early on," Neasham said.

"I’ve known it from day one. From day one he looked like he was going to be a star. You don’t run them first-up in a Doncaster unless you have a big opinion of him.

"He’s just held onto his condition and form and I just wish the Cox Plate was in two weeks."

Neasham said Zaaki would now go for a break after securing three wins in Queensland with earlier victories coming in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes and Doomben Cup.

Bet365 cut Zaaki to 11-4 favourite (from 3-1) for Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 23.


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From day one he looked like he was going to be a star
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