Zaaki Heads 2023 Northerly Stakes Field & Betting Markets

December 6, 2023

Zaaki Heads 2023 Northerly Stakes Field & Betting Markets

Evergreen nine-year-old Zaaki is tipped to return to winning form when he heads west for the first time making his Perth race debut in the 2023 Northerly Stakes.

Zaaki | Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos | Races.com.au

Annabel Neasham’s evergreen veteran Zaaki is favourite to win Perth’s 2023 Northerly Stakes this weekend at Ascot. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Elite level racing comes to a close for another calendar year down under on Saturday with the Group 1 $1.5 million Northerly Stakes (1800m) featuring a crack 16-horse field.

Sitting top of the Northerly Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Annabel Neasham-trained veteran Zaaki at $2.60.

James McDonald has the ride on the top elect from gate 10.

Zaaki is fit fifth-up on the weekend looking for his first win since the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast back in May.

He has been in typically solid form this spring including his last start fourth to Atishu in the Group 1 Champions Stakes (2000m) when two lengths beaten at Flemington on November 11 when unsuccessful in his bid at a third straight win in that event.

The gun import rates highly for the Northerly Stakes and is looking to go back-to-back for the punters following the win by Amelia’s Jewel ($2.90 in 2022) last summer.

Despite the size and class of the Northerly Stakes field just two other runners are currently under double-figures for the win including the Grant & Alana Williams-trained Alsephina at $7.

Co-trainer Grant Williams chases his fifth win in the event that was formally known as the Kingston Town Classic and his fourth in partnership with daughter Alana.

Grant & Alana Williams chase their fourth Northerly Stakes victory in six years with Alsephina and Casino Seventeen

The duo has prepared three of the past five winners going back to 2018.

The ‘Wizard of the West’, William Pike, is on the top local hope this year with Star Turn mare Alsephina drawn a treat in barrier six.

The classy five-year-old has a great Ascot track record (9:6-3-0) and is proven at the 1800m distance.

Her latest three runs have seen her run second on each occasion in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m), Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m), and Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).

She was only a length off the Railway Stakes winner Bustler a fortnight back and looks a genuine chance to turn the tables over a furlong further on Saturday.

Team Williams also saddle-up Casino Seventeen from the outside barrier (16) with Shaun McGruddy on the consistent six-year-old who is at $35 to win on the back of a lead-up second in the Listed AJ Scahill Stakes (2100m).

Bustler meanwhile pays $9.50 to become just the fifth horse in history to complete the Railway Stakes – Northerly Stakes double.

The Neville Parnham-trained four-year-old is a progressive son of dual Kingston Town Classic champion Playing God (2010-11).

Bustler is a five-time winner at the course from 11 starts and is up to 58.5kg at weight-for-age after carrying just 53kg to victory in the Railway.

Parnham also saddles-up the talented Zipaway ($12) from barrier 14.

Another Playing God progeny, the three-year-old has won three of his past four starts and was last seen stepping up in grade here on November 25 to take out the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m).

Since Playing God won his first in 2010 a subsequent five three-year-olds have won the race including the filly Amelia’s Jewel last summer.

Along with Zipaway the other three-year-old in on 52kg taking on the older horses in the race this year is Trevor Andrews’ WA Guineas runner-up A Lot Of Good Men ($11) in gate eight with Chris Parnham riding.

The 2023 Northerly Stakes is set to run as Ascot Race 8 at 4:45pm (AWST) – 7:45pm (AEDT) – on Saturday with full markets from Ladbrokes.com.au available here.

2023 Northerly Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 1x217x3264 ZAAKI (GB) Annabel Neasham James McDonald 10 59kg 120
2 1316x0x984 TRIX OF THE TRADE Colin Webster Troy Turner 7 59kg 106
3 65x2111x02 ZOUMON Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Damien Oliver 15 59kg 108
4 11x10x0178 MAROCCHINO Lou Luciani Jason Whiting 3 59kg 111
5 5x31823x23 DOM TO SHOOT Sean & Jake Casey Jarrad Noske 1 59kg 107
6 30×7629310 FORGOT YOU (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Paul Harvey 13 59kg 103
7 112311×342 CASINO SEVENTEEN Grant & Alana Williams Shaun McGruddy 16 59kg 97
8 11751×3515 MOJO RHYTHM Mitchell Pateman Ms Holly Watson 4 59kg 92
9 5×23176557 RIVER RUBICON Steve Wolfe Alan Kennedy 9 59kg 92
10 x60113x751 BUSTLER Neville Parnham Brad Parnham 5 58.5kg 111
11 111111×222 ALSEPHINA Grant & Alana Williams William Pike 6 57kg 106
12 1x0180x180 SEARCHIN’ ROC’S Jim Taylor Jason Brown 12 57kg 96
13 41211x2x69 THE VELVET QUEEN Darren McAuliffe Patrick Carbery 11 57kg 98
14 46×2632191 BE OPTIMISTIC Luke Fernie Clint Johnston-Porter 2 57kg 90
15 243×1141 ZIPAWAY Neville Parnham Steven Parnham 14 52kg 86
16 14x21x7532 A LOT OF GOOD MEN Trevor Andrews Chris Parnham 8 52kg 8

Table Credit: Racing Australia.


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