Trainer Chris Waller admits that he will be looking to protect Zoustar during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival as he looks ahead to a tilt at Royal Ascot with the talented sprinter.
Zoustar was included in the nominations for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) that will be run at Flemington on March 8, but Waller revealed last week that the son of Northern Meteor will race exclusively in Sydney during his autumn campaign.
Waller told RSN this morning that Zoustar will race in favourable weigh-for-age conditions during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival; with the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick and the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on April 26 set to be his only race starts before beginning preparations for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) during the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting.
“We are trying to protect him as much as we can,” Waller said.
“Keeping him at home is a little bit easier and he will run in weight-for-age races.
“The Newmarket is a handicap and he would have to carry quite a bit of weight against older horses.
“If we keep him up here we can keep him fairly sheltered.
“The plan with him is to get him to Europe through the winter; to do too much racing before he gets on that plane to England would be detrimental.”
Zoustar was one of the star performers of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and his string of victories saw him purchased in a lucrative stud deal to stand at Widden Stud in New South Wales and Woodside Park Stud in Victoria.
The talented colt suffered just the second defeat of his career in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 31 before recording his maiden Group 1 victory in the Golden Rose Stakes (1200m) a week later.
Zoustar went on to record a dominant victory in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 and finished his campaign with another Group 1 win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
He is currently a clear favourite in 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes betting markets, at odds of $3, from triple Group 1 winner Buffering ($5) and talented mare Samaready ($8).
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