The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Veteran galloper Zaaki is a late scratching from the Group 1 $5 million King Charles III Stakes (1600m) field at Royal Randwick today.
Trainer Annabel Neasham was forced to make the late withdrawal on vet’s advice due to the nine-year-old’s abnormal blood work.
The dual Mackinnon Stakes champion showed a slightly elevated blood cell count, likely an indication of a minor virus, on Friday.
Stewards accepted the late scratching on Saturday morning however after a delay in the subsequent blood results taken from the gelding yesterday afternoon.
Zaaki is the second official scratching from the lucrative mile showdown on The Everest Day card along with Democracy Manifest from the Chris Waller stable.
Democracy Manifest was drawn the far outside alley (16 of 16) and was to be ridden by Tyler Schiller.
Zaaki had barrier seven with Ms Jamie Kah now without a ride in the weight-for-age event.
The ace miler chases win number six on the trot and was last seen winning the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Craig Williams has the prize mount on the clear top elect in the markets with Mr Brightside coming in from barrier eight to seven.
Waller’s multiple Group 1 winning mare Fangirl in gate two with James McDonald aboard the considered the danger occupying the second line of betting at $7.50.
The news of Zaaki’s scratching came as a blow to connections who were forced to see their prized weight-for-age import sit out of the famous Cox Plate race at Moonee Valley two years ago when he was withdrawn on race day morning with an elevated temperature.
Zaaki ran in last year’s Cox Plate finishing a brave fourth to gun Godolphin galloper, the since-retired Anamoe.
He has been in typically terrific form this spring running a half-length third to Fangirl fresh in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) before being narrowly denied when runner-up to Think It Over by a nose in the inaugural $1 million 7 Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 16.
The 7 Stakes winner Think It Over meanwhile pays $12 in King Charles III Stakes betting to salute at the same track and trip in Randwick Race 9 at 5:35pm (AEDT) this afternoon.
Zaaki is likely to still contest the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28 and is out to $21 in pre-field markets at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
Click here for the updated 2023 King Charles III Stakes odds.
Updated King Charles III Stakes Field 2023
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x14241x631||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Nash Rawiller||4||59kg||120|
|2||3x5211x111||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||Ben, Will & JD Hayes||Craig Williams||8||59kg||119|
|3||341x217x32||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Ms Jamie Kah||7||59kg||118|
|4||8x0653216x||HUETOR (FR)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||12||59kg||111|
|5||2x6x372332||LIGHT INFANTRY MAN (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Zac Purton||6||59kg||110|
|6||6x6026x647||MY OBERON (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Chad Schofield||3||59kg||109|
|7||x216x143x2||BUCKAROO (GB)||Joseph O’Brien||Hugh Bowman||10||59kg||107|
|8||121735×454||ZEYREK (FR)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Sam Clipperton||13||59kg||106|
|9||1113553×40||NUGGET (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Dylan Gibbons (a)||9||59kg||104|
|10||3x1761x015||DEMOCRACY MANIFEST||Chris Waller||Tyler Schiller||16||59kg||101|
|11||x2400x9013||GOLDEN MILE||James Cummings||Zac Lloyd (a)||5||58.5kg||109|
|12||11x3131x92||KOVALICA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||15||58.5kg||108|
|13||x641211x11||REDIENER||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1||58.5kg||107|
|14||62x3227x13||FANGIRL||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2||57kg||114|
|15||23x216Px52||ATISHU (NZ)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||11||57kg||111|
|16||42x1442x36||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Jason Collett||14||57kg||109|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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