Zaaki Passes His Group 1 Test in Melbourne

Mark Smith - Saturday September 25

Zaaki (GB) got the job done with a minimum of fuss in Saturday’s $1,000,000 Group 1 Quayclean Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Sandown-Hillside.

Zaaki low flying (image Racing Photos)

With Craig Williams having his first sit on the Annabel Neasham-trained import, Zaaki (Leroidesanimaux) came clear to defeat the game Probabeel (Savabeel) by two lengths with Superstorm (Sebring) one and three-quarter length back in third.

It was the fifth consecutive win for the 6yo gelding advancing his record to nine wins, three seconds and five thirds from 28 starts with earnings of $2,582,357.

Stable representative Todd Pollard said it was a huge relief.

“It’s quite nerve racking. You wait two weeks and then it ends up being a five-horse field, odds-on favourite and the pressure was really on,” Pollard said.

“Once the saddle was on and he perks up a bit, it’s just good to see him out there and doing his business.

“There’s been a lot of work that has gone into it. He came down on Sunday night. Nick Ryan, he’s been a huge asset to us. He’s been extra helpful and done everything we could possibly ask.

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t;It was always going to be a concern, a bit of a tactical affair.

 

“There wasn’t a lot of speed in the race, and it was interesting to see Fifty Stars take them up. We thought we might have to do all the leg work and have something come over the top of us late.

“He’s such a good horse, he just tries every time. He’s a marvel to have in the stable.

“The Caulfield Stakes is next then on to the Cox Plate, that’s the grand final."

Zaaki and Craig Williams - Racing Photos

Winner of the Group III York Strensall Stakes at York, Group III Diomed Stakes at Epsom and the Listed Paradise Stakes at Ascot when trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Zaaki (GB) was a 40,000gns purchase by Ahmad Alotaibi out of the Staffordstown draft at the 2016 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

Zaaki (GB) was third behind Benbatl in the 2019 Group II Joel Stakes at Newmarket, a race the son of Dubawi won again yesterday.

 Zaaki (GB) was bought by Blandford Bloodstock / Annabel Neasham Racing for 150,000gns out of the Freemason Lodge Stables draft at the 2020 Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale.

A half-brother to stakes-paced Kirks Ryker (Selkirk), the Kirsten Rausing-bred Zaaki (GB) is the best of six winners from eight to race out of the Sadler's Wells mare Kesara, a half-sister to the dual Listed stakes-winner Persona Grata (Sir Percy).

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Race Result - Quayclean Underwood Stakes Gr1 1800m

Sandown-Hillside Track: Good(4) Time: 1:49.20
1
Zaaki
T: Annabel Neasham J: Craig Williams 59
7g Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) x Kesara (GB) (Sadler's Wells (USA))
2
2.0
Probabeel
T: J W Richards J: B Prebble 57
5m Savabeel (AUS) x Far Fetched (NZ) (Pins (AUS))
NZB Karaka - Book 1 $380,000
V:Waikato Stud Ltd
B: Mr DC Ellis
3
3.8
Superstorm
T: D T O'Brien J: D Oliver 59
5g Sebring (AUS) x Stormy Nova (AUS) (Metal Storm (FR))
Sebring
4
6.2
The Chosen One
T: M Baker & A Forsman J: Damian Lane 59
6h Savabeel (AUS) x The Glitzy One (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
5
18.2
Fifty Stars
T: Tom Dabernig J: John Allen 59
7h Sea The Stars (IRE) x Swizzle Stick (IRE) (Sadler's Wells (USA))
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