Zaaki on track for Hollindale Stakes

After a few setbacks to start his latest campaign, the Annabel Neasham-prepared Zaaki proved he was back in good order with a determined second behind Giga Kick in last weekend’s $1.5 million Group One All Aged Stakes at Royal Randwick.

Aside from a sixth in the 2021 Doncaster at his Australian debut and being disqualified in the JRA Plate the following start, the eight-year-old has only missed a place once in his 18 local outings since. He certainly wasn’t disgraced in that effort either with a close-up fourth behind Anamoe in last year’s Cox Plate.

Neasham is looking to cut and paste his Brisbane campaign from the past two years, despite some other suggestions being put on her radar.

“Someone just floated the idea to me the other day, said I should keep him fresh and run him in a Stradbroke,” Neasham told Sky Sports Radio on Tuesday morning.

“Probably isn’t the worst idea, but I think we’ll just go down the tried and tested path with him.

“He’ll go Hollindale (Stakes) and then Doomben Cup, the same as the last two seasons.

“It’s a nice spacing three weeks into the Hollindale. Most preps we’ve done that 1400m to 1800m step and it seems to suit him well.

“He didn’t win the Doomben Cup, had a bit of an off day last year, but his best win was the Doomben Cup the year before. We’d love to try and win another one with him.”

Her stable stalwart won’t be the only galloper chasing success up north, with three-year-old filly Lady Laguna aiming to break through at stakes level following three consecutive placings in Group Two and Three company this time in.

The daughter of Overshare has been right there in recent efforts and Neasham believes she deserves her chance to get a valuable black type victory on the pedigree page.

“Lady Laguna, she’s been really knocking on the door,” Neasham said.

“She placed in the Arrowfield behind Aft Cabin and placed in two stakes races prior to that, so hopefully we can try and get a win with her up there.

“She’ll accept for the Mick Dittman (Plate) this weekend, we’ll have a look at that race for her.”

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