The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Connections of brilliant straight-track specialist Zoutori have all but ruled out chasing one of the final two slots up for grabs in Sydney’s $15 million The Everest with plans for the 2020 Gilgai Stakes winner to stay at home and potentially target the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) on Derby Day.
Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra’s airborne Zoustar gelding emulated the mighty Chautauqua by backing-up off a Bobbie Lewis Quality win to salute in Saturday’s Group 2 $300,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
He met the Bobbie Lewis third placegetter and confirmed The Everest-bound mare Tofane three kilos worse at set weights plus penalties in the Gilgai Stakes, but was too good for his rivals.
Tofane had a luckless run unable to get into the clear with nowhere to go finishing well out of the money, but the soft run should have her peaking third-up when she heads to Randwick on October 17 for the world’s richest turf race.
Zoutori, ridden to victory by Jamie Kah, meanwhile made his own luck racing up on the speed around fourth in running as the fast-starting eight-year-old Dollar For Dollar led the Gilgai Stakes field around.
Kah really got his mount into work with 300m to go and Zoutori and Dollar For Dollar went toe-for-toe over the final furlong in tight race to the line.
In the end, Zoutori ($5.50) was too strong and too brave securing a narrow win over Dollar For Dollar ($7.50), while Kemalpasa ($21) rounded out the trifecta third on the outside also off an on-pace run throughout.
“He’s probably not well off at the weights today off those better horses…I suppose we could call him one of those better horses now,” he said.
“He’s the job, that was a good space of three weeks for him from first up to second up.
“That will top him right off.”
While there was talk of a potential The Everest slot for the Gilgai Stakes winner, co-trainer Ellerton all but shut that dream down saying Zoutori was a definitely better the Melbourne way of racing.
“We tried him right-handed once when he was three and he just turned to porridge up in Brisbane,” he said.
“We’re being realistic (about The Everest).”
As a three-year-old Zoutori won over the mile in easier company, and there is a chance he could again be extended for distance with the 2020 Cantala Stakes among his potential spring targets.
“Thinking of getting him out to a mile this prep,” Ellerton said.
“But it’s something we’ll sleep on.
“I think we’ll stay at home in our own backyard and plot a course maybe towards the Cantala, but that may change.”
Despite the unlikelihood of a The Everest bid, all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au on Zoutori for the $15 million feature have firmed in from $51 to $41 while Tofane has eased out from $17 to $19.
2020 Gilgai Stakes Results
|1||2||ZOUTORI||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Jamie Kah||5||59kg||$5.50|
|2||8||DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||0.1L||6||57kg||$7.50|
|3||3||KEMALPASA||Richard & Chantelle Jolly||Craig Williams||0.2L||9||59kg||$21|
|4||7||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||William Pike||0.95L||8||57kg||$7.50|
|5||4||TOFANE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||1.05L||4||58kg||$3.30F|
|6||6||SANTA ANA LANE||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||2.05L||3||57kg||$5.50|
|7||5||THE INEVITABLE||Scott Brunton||Ben Melham||4.05L||1||58kg||$10|
|8||1||FIFTY STARS (IRE)||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||John Allen||6.05L||7||60kg||$21|
|9||9||I AM SOMEONE||Paul Preusker||Brett Prebble||12.05L||2||57kg||$51|
|10||EXCESS FUNDS||Levi Kavanagh||Damian Lane||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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