The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
In a master performance by both horse and hoop the Annabel Neasham-trained star Zaaki was given a peach of a ride from barrier 15 of 15 by Jamie Kah to find the rails and win The All-Star Mile 2022 at Flemington by an easy 1.5 lengths.
After being scratched as the favourite from last year’s Cox Plate on race morning, the gun import enjoyed an atoning $5 million victory at headquarters second-up in an impressive The All-Star Mile display.
He presented fit and ready to fire after finishing runner-up in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at the same track and distance a fortnight back, but was not getting beaten again.
Soon after jump, Kah stormed across the field from the carpark to settle three-wide in third as the Kiwi expat Callsign Lav led them around.
Zaaki moved up into second by mid-race on the outside before laying it down at the 400m.
The $2.40 favourite went to the front 300m out from the line putting a gap on the field and went on to defeat the fast-finishing I’m Thunderstruck ($8.50) who came late to run a brave second.
In a lovely performance by $201 pop Streets Of Avalon, the Shane Nichols’ seven-year-old ran third in his third The All-Star Mile start having 12th and 7th respectively the past two years.
Mr Brightside for Lindsay Park was also good at a price of 25/1 getting up to run fourth, 3.5 lengths off The All-Star Mile winner Zaaki.
The punters had rallied for him late and the roar of the crowd went up when Kah hit the button to win aboard one of the country’s leading weight-for-age stars.
Aggressive early outside the leader, Kah produced a perfectly executed ride allowing Zaaki to stamp his authority this autumn and beyond.
“It’s great to see the horse win, he deserves it so much, he puts in 110% every time,” stable representative Todd Pollard told Racing.com.
“Just full credit to the horse and to the team at home.
“It’s such a good reward.
“He’s just such a great animal. He’s so easy to deal with.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s amazing.”
Pollard said the long-term plan was to get Zaaki back in the spring for the Group 1 $5 million Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley in October.
“Hopefully we’ll be back in the Cox Plate this year, there’s unfinished business,” he said.
Before that however, Zaaki is likely to head north to Randwick on April 9 where a mouth-watering edition of the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is set to play out.
After a seven-length romp home in the Rosehill Guineas results on Saturday, Anamoe is $3.50 favourite in all-in 2022 Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting.
Verry Elleegant is the $4.50 second elect after finishing runner-up in a shock defeat at the hands of Montefilia in the Ranvet Stakes, while Zaaki occupies the third line of betting at $5.
2022 The All-Star Mile Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Ms Jamie Kah||15||59kg|
|2||1||I’M THUNDERSTRUCK (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Jye McNeil||1.5L||1||59kg|
|3||4||STREETS OF AVALON||Shane Nichols||Zac Spain||2.25L||3||59kg|
|4||8||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben & JD Hayes||Craig Williams||3.5L||2||59kg|
|5||3||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||3.7L||6||59kg|
|6||12||INSPIRATIONAL GIRL (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||4.45L||4||57kg|
|7||11||SIERRA SUE (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||John Allen||4.55L||13||57kg|
|8||10||TOFANE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Mott||5.3L||7||57kg|
|9||9||ICEBATH (NZ)||Brad Widdup||Fred Kersley||5.5L||9||57kg|
|10||15||PINSTRIPED||Enver Jusufovic||Michael Dee||5.6L||8||56kg|
|11||7||CALLSIGN MAV (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Ben Allen||6.1L||10||59kg|
|12||6||KING MAGNUS||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||Lachlan King||7.85L||5||59kg|
|13||13||CAPTIVANT||Peter & Paul Snowden||Patrick Moloney||11.35L||11||56kg|
|14||14||LIGHTSABER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12.35L||12||56kg|
|15||5||LUNAR FOX||Paul Preusker||Craig Newitt||13.85L||14||59kg|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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