The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
It was hardly the feature race of the day, but the Tony Gollan-trained Zoustyle stole the show winning Saturday’s JRA Cup (1200m) at Doomben to keep his undefeated streak alive.
The win marked 6-from-6 for the speedy three-year-old, who shortened all the way into a $1.65 before the jump. As expected, it was a head-to-head battle down the straight with $3.00 second-elect Plague Stone, but the Zoustar gelding proved too quick racing away to win by a length and a half.
There were a few nervy moments for punters as jockey Brad Stewart slowed up down the back straight. With Plague Stone moving to the inside rail, it looked as though a packed crowd at Doomben were in for an exciting finish, or at least that was the case up until Zoustyle’s dazzling turn of foot took over.
Gollan has remained hush on his plans for the Winter Carnival, and after an unorganized prep, the chances of Zoustyle lining up in next month’s $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm remain slim.
“The preparation isn’t ideal now after we had a scratch the other day,” Gollan said after Saturday’s race.
“We put the horse first the whole way along, we pulled up from trying to go for a big bonus in the summer with him, he’s a horse I’ve never had my hands on and we just want to make sure we do everything right by him and everything else will come second.”
The Stradbroke pace could pose a few challenges, but that isn’t to say Zoustyle won’t continue on in the Carnival.
“He’s a really good horse, I can’t hide my admiration for him. I just want to see him come home in one piece, have a look at him tomorrow morning, hopefully he looks better than today and hopefully we can go on in the Carnival” Gollan went on to say.
Despite the uncertainty, Zoustyle has still firmed from $11 into $8.00 with Ladbrokes for the Stradbroke.
Last week’s Doomben 10,000 winner The Bostonian remains equal favourite with Home of the Brave, while Saturday’s second place-getter Plague Stone can be had for $10.00.
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