The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Annable Neasham’s Cox Plate favourite Zaaki has scared away all but five rivals as he prepares for another potential Group 1 barrier trial in the 2021 Caulfield Might And Power Stakes field this weekend.
Caulfield Guineas Day features a triple-shot of elite level racing including the weight-for-age Group 1 $1 million Neds Might And Power (2000m) where just six runners will do battle.
A traditional lead-up into The Valley’s Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), the event looks to be a one-horse affair as the next big thing in Australian racing – Zaaki – runs third-up.
The ultra-consistent and very impressive son of Leroidesanimaux has won both his lead-up runs this prep including a two-length romp home in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Since 2006 the Underwood Stakes has produced eight Caulfield Stakes winners and on Saturday the money is on Zaaki to be the first to do the double since Ocean Park (2012).
Craig Williams retains the prized mount with Zaaki jumping from barrier four and paying a very short $1.24 in Might And Power Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The “danger” at current Caufield Might And Power odds of $6 is the mare who was two lengths back second in the Underwood last time out, Jamie Richards’ Kiwi-trained Probabeel.
Drawn the rails for the rematch with Brett Prebble in the saddle again, the talented daughter of Savabeel has an excellent record at the track having won three from four at Caulfield ahead of Saturday.
The chances of her improving enough to defeat Zaaki are very slim, but she remains at single-figures to post her first win over further than a mile.
Homesman at $12 is the other best to finish in the money following the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained eight-year-old’s eye-catching return.
The reigning Australian Cup winner over this distance at HQ from the autumn, he has twice encountered Zaaki when ninth in the Gold Coast’s Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and runner-up at big odds in Brisbane’s Group 2 The Q22 (2200m) over the winter.
He resumed at The Valley on Moir Stakes Night and was good with 60kg finishing second in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) ahead of his second-up run this weekend.
The field is completed by the Grahame Begg-trained Naturalism Stakes winner at the track/distance last time out Nonconformist, Reward For Effort mare No Effort and Peter Moody’s 60/1 roughie Nickajack Cave.
2021 Caulfield Might And Power Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||3x31x932x2||HOMESMAN (USA)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jye McNeil||2||59kg||110|
|2||7x6D111x11||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Craig Williams||4||59kg||118|
|3||9x3502x641||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||3||59kg||102|
|4||53x4x11x0x||NICKAJACK CAVE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5||59kg||103|
|5||7x1102x152||PROBABEEL (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Brett Prebble||1||57kg||115|
|6||x725112310||NO EFFORT||Gavin Bedggood||Beau Mertens||6||57kg||102|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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