2018 Champagne Classic Winner Zousain Presses onto JJ Atkins

May 12, 2018

2018 Champagne Classic Winner Zousain Presses onto JJ Atkins

Next month’s Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) is firmly on the winter agenda for Chris Waller’s precocious colt Zousain who enjoyed a dominant Champagne Classic win on Doomben 10,000 Day.

Kerrin McEvoy

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy (pictured at Doomben in 2015) rode the Chris Waller-trained Zousain to a big win in the 2018 Champagne Classic. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Waller enjoyed his fourth win in the Group 2 $175,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1200m) and his second in as many years following Tangled (2017) last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

Well-bred Zoustar colt Zousain had had three previous runs at home in Sydney, his last two in March when fourth in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) and sixth in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m).

Having only arrived in Queensland on Wednesday, the up-and-comer showed terrific improvement and his true potential was on display as jockey Kerrin McEvoy guided him to a two and a half-length win over Ben Currie’s flying Dalrello Stakes winner Mishani Hustler.

“Today we just got back and switched him off early,” McEvoy said post-win.

“I had a heap of horse when I was needing him at the 600 [metres].

“I did have the horse to power through the gap. He actually won quite cosy, once he got there he pricked his ears.

“He’s a nice colt that’s only going to get better.”

The Champagne Classic field was led around by the Darryl Hansen-trained last start Doomben winning Easy Rocking filly Pennino who took up front running on the inside of Mishani Hustler chasing a fourth win on the trot.

Zousain didn’t feature until the straight where he got the run and shot through to grab the late lead and power home ahead of Mishani Hustler and the third placegetter, the Kelly Doughty-trained Blue Book who was previously undefeated at the Doomben track with a trio of wins.

Waller’s Queensland-based stable rep Paul Shailer confirmed Zousain was on way to the JJ Atkins Plate 2018 over the Doomben mile on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 9.

“He showed a great turn of foot today and shown what promise he has,” Shailer said.

“He’ll press onto the JJ Atkins now and he’ll be very competitive.

“Going forward, he’s a big precocious colt and he’s a very good doer so it’s all upwards.”

Before the Champagne Classic results Zousain was at $13 in pre-field JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, but he has now firmed into $5 favouritism.

Waller has prepared two past JJ Atkins winners with Pressday (2010) and Press Statement (2015).

His shot at a third in 2018, Zousain is likely to have another lead-up into the JJ Atkins via the Group 2 $250,000 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) on May 26.

To back the impressive Champagne Classic winner Zousain in the 2018 JJ Atkins odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au.

2018 Champagne Classic Results & Finishing Order

Doomben Race 5 – 12/05/2018

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Weight SP
1 5 ZOUSAIN Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 8 57kg $9.50
2 1 MISHANI HUSTLER Ben Currie Taylor Marshall (a) 2.5L 4 57kg $6.50
3 2 BLUE BOOK Kelly Doughty Jeff Lloyd 2.7L 10 57kg $17
4 11 SIZZLING ACE Toby Edmonds Regan Bayliss 2.8L 6 55kg $6.50
5 4 DYNAMITED James Cummings Corey Brown 3.55L 7 57kg $4.80F
6 3 ONLY WANNA SING Robert Heathcote Damian Browne 3.75L 1 57kg $12
7 7 RACECOURSE ROAD Chris Munce Ron Stewart 5.25L 5 57kg $61
8 9 SIZZLING BELLE Nick Olive Kathy O’Hara 5.35L 11 55kg $8.50
9 6 PIZONIE Tony Gollan Jim Byrne 8.6L 3 57kg $9.50
10 10 PENNINO Darryl Hansen Tiffani Brooker 9.35L 2 55kg $6
11 8 INJUSTICE Gillian Heinrich & Ben Rodgers Tim Clark 12.1L 9 57kg $91

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