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Race favourite Zaaki has sensationally been scratched from the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley today due to an elevated temperature with Godolphin three-year-old Anamoe now firm favourite in the Australasian weight-for-age classic.
In a devastating blow for trainer Annabel Neasham, connections of the class import and jockey James McDonald the pre-race favourite was officially scratched from the Cox Plate 2021 field on race day morning having been found to have an elevated temperature.
“Absolutely devastated to report that Zaaki had been scratched from the Cox Plate due to an elevated temperature,” Neasham posted.
“Gutted for connections and James McDonald.”
Zaaki (6) was out to atone for his lead-up third in the Might And Power Stakes and was around $2.80 in Cox Plate betting through race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au at the time of his scratching.
His shock scratching has left the James Cummings-trained Anamoe as the $3 favourite in the Cox Plate markets.
With Zaaki out, the job for jockey Craig Williams on Anamoe becomes easier with the Caulfield Guineas winning Street Boss colt into barrier eight.
Godolphin chase their first Cox Plate trophy and Anamoe is out to be the first three-year-old officially since Shamus Award (2013) to win.
Chris Waller‘s nine-time Group 1 winning mare Verry Elleegant is now into $3.70 Cox Plate odds to take her number of elite level wins into double figures and will jump from barrier 7 with Damian Lane in the saddle.
Zaaki is officially the second Cox Plate scratching this season following Friday’s withdrawal of the Maher/Eustace trained Gold Trip (2) on vet’s advice.
Neasham is still in with a chance saddling-up dual Group 1 winner Mo’unga from barrier three, the youngster well backed in from $16 to $6.
Zaaki meanwhile will instead target the Group 1 $2 million Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 6, the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Updated 2021 Cox Plate Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x6D111x113||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||James McDonald||6||59kg||120|
|2||7x0733x083||DALASAN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Daniel Moor||3||59kg||118|
|3||0x34x52x3x||GOLD TRIP (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Damien Oliver||2||59kg||119|
|4||3x21223x11||CALLSIGN MAV (NZ)||John Bary||Luke Nolen||5||59kg||115|
|5||x32107x125||MO’UNGA (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Hugh Bowman||4||57.5kg||117|
|6||7x3112x214||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Damian Lane||9||57kg||118|
|7||x1102x1521||PROBABEEL (NZ)||Jamie Richards||Brett Prebble||7||57kg||117|
|8||125435x31x||STATE OF REST (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||John Allen||8||56.5kg||115|
|9||x23121x121||ANAMOE||James Cummings||Craig Williams||10||49.5kg||116|
|10||x3531x3672||CAPTIVANT||Peter & Paul Snowden||Dean Yendall||1||49.5kg||115|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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