This Wednesday Guy Walter’s promising filly Zuccotto will take her next step towards a possible 2013 Australian Oaks start next month during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival when she lines up in a three-year-olds’ handicap at Canterbury.
The nicely-bred daughter of Quest For Fame out of Zabeel mare La Zabaglione, a half-sister to 13-time Group 1 winner Tie The Knot, Zuccotto has had nine starts so far but has produced just the one win at Canberra over 1400m back in September last year.
This time in she’s had three starts most recently running fifth in a Class 2 Handicap over the Goulburn mile on March 15, an effort Walter is hoping she can improve on in Wednesday’s $35,000 tab.com.au Handicap (1900m) where she will be ridden by Kathy O’Hara.
“This is an important race for her,” Walter said on Tuesday.
“It will be her second time in blinkers.
“She is a talented filly and she did have a couple of setbacks in the spring before the Oaks so we’re hoping to see improvement tomorrow.”
Bred to stay Zuccotto was tested over more distance during the spring when ninth in both the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) to Zydeco and ninth again to Dear Demi in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington after striking interference at the start.
Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi currently heads the markets for the $550,000 Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 20 at a quote of $4 despite her Coolmore Classic failure last Saturday.
Zuccotto meanwhile is one of the roughie picks in the Australian Oaks odds at $101.
Should all go well at Canterbury this week Walter will look at backing Zuccotto up in one of the traditional Australian Oaks lead-ups, the $125,000 Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 13.
It is a tried and true path Walter has used twice before when running both Republic Lass (2002) and Wild Iris (2004) in a low key race before they each took out the Adrian Knox – Australian Oaks double in their respective three-year-old seasons.
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