Cassidy Confident in Zoustar First-up Today

Exciting colt Zoustar will return to the track for the first time in 2014 today, confirmed to line up for the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), and jockey Jim Cassidy is confident of a strong first-up performance from the talented colt.

Zoustar has been confirmed for the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes first-up this afternoon

Zoustar has been confirmed for the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes first-up this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Having partnered Zoustar in all but one race in his eight starts to date, Cassidy told AAP the Northern Meteor colt has only improved since returning to the spelling paddock at the start of November.

“I’m sure you are going to see a magnificent horse parade on Saturday” Cassidy said.

“He is starting to turn from a boy into a man.

“He is starting to develop all over from his shoulder through to his hindquarters.”

While yet to appear competitively, Zoustar completed two strong Randwick barrier trials over February and could reportedly achieve no more in preparations before taking to the track for his 2014 debut.

“The horse’s attitude is at a level where he needs to go to the races” Cassidy added.

Zoustar was undoubtedly one of the highest performing race horses throughout 2013, claiming his first three races with ease before finishing a close second to Romantic Touch in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) in his debut autumn preparation and returning to claim the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in spring.

Trainer Chris Waller has underlined the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) as the major target for the talented three-year-old this preparation, before a like trip to the UK to line up at Royal Ascot.

Zoustar is currently featuring as outright $3 favourite for first-up Canterbury Stakes success this afternoon, ahead of Not Listenin’tome ($4.20), Red Tracer ($4.60) and Appearance ($6).

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