The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Annabel Neasham-trained import Zaaki was huge winning the A.D. Hollindale Stakes 2021 on the Gold Coast with ease putting away a class field at just his third start down under on way to the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).
The British-bred six-year-old was well-supported by the punters to take out this year’s Group 2 $500,000 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) having been dropped back in distance from his lead-up second behind Paths Of Glory at Randwick on April 24 in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m).
It proved a winning move by Neasham as Zaaki was given a wonderfully-timed ride on-speed by star Sydney hoop James McDonald.
“Gee, J Mac’s the best for a reason, it was a beautiful ride,” Neasham told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win when quick to credit James McDonald.
“He (Zaaki) is quite a strong traveller and once he got in that spot, I was quite confident he’d be hard to beat.
“That’s when he’s at his best, when he’s fresh and dropped back to the 1800m.”
Eighty-to-one roughie Tiptronic charged out to lead the Hollindale field around, while Zaaki settled fourth in the run getting a beautiful trail into the race.
The outsider in betting was still in the lead with 600m to go, while McDonald began his move on the heavily-backed favourite getting Zaaki up into third approaching the turn.
Onto the straight it was Zaaki on the outside of the Chris Waller-trained Shared Ambition, before the eventual champion shot clear and charged out to a huge lead over the final furlong.
Absolutely bolting home, Zaaki ($3.60F) still had over two lengths to spare on the line over the fast finishing Fifty Stars ($9) who was good late narrowing the gap from a mid-field run with William Pike aboard.
Waller’s last start Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) winner – when ridden by McDonald – out of Sydney Shared Ambition ($16) rounded out the trifecta in third with Jim Byrne in the saddle.
Zaaki looks to have a huge future in Australia off the commanding Hollindale win where he easily put away a quality field on what was far from his preferred racing surface.
“He’s much better on firm ground,” Neasham warned rivals.
“Hopefully, if we get a firm track, in the Doomben Cup we might see an even better performance.”
The mare Streama (2014) was the last galloper to complete the A.D. Hollindale Stakes – Doomben Cup double.
2021 A.D. Hollindale Stakes Results
|1||7||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||James McDonald||12||59kg||$3.60F|
|2||1||FIFTY STARS (IRE)||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||William Pike||2.25L||10||59kg||$9|
|3||6||SHARED AMBITION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jim Byrne||2.45L||7||59kg||$16|
|4||2||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||Nash Rawiller||4.45L||8||59kg||$4.60|
|5||4||HUMIDOR (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Rodd||4.65L||3||59kg||$41|
|6||11||TOFFEE TONGUE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||5.15L||5||57kg||$21|
|7||5||MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE)||Chris Waller||Luke Dittman||5.25L||1||59kg||$26|
|8||8||TIPTRONIC (NZ)||Graham Richardson & Rogan Norvall||Glen Boss||6.75L||2||59kg||$81|
|9||3||HOMESMAN (USA)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jye McNeil||6.95L||13||59kg||$12|
|10||9||MELODY BELLE (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Opie Bosson||7.05L||14||57kg||$7|
|11||13||VANNA GIRL||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Mark Zahra||7.25L||9||57kg||$14|
|12||10||NETTOYER||Wendy Roche||Ben Thompson||8.5L||11||57kg||$18|
|13||14||TWO ILLICIT (NZ)||Roger James & Robert Wellwood||Vinnie Colgan||10L||6||57kg||$51|
|14||16e||THE CANDY MAN||Barry Baldwin||Baylee Nothdurft||11.25L||4||59kg||$81|
|17e||FLASH AAH||Mitchell Fry||0|
|12||PARADEE||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||0|
|15e||BRANDENBURG (NZ)||John Sargent||Regan Bayliss||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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