Zardozi will chase the G2 Wakeful Stakes

Trainer James Cummings and the Godolphin team are looking forward to seeing Zardozi step out on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Zardozi is down to contest the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday as a lead-up to the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) on November 9.

It is the same double that Willowy took for Godolphin in 2021.

Zardozi was undefeated as a two-year-old, scoring at Gosford, and then on two occasions at Hawkesbury before Cummings started plotting his Oaks path.

After two runs in unsatisfactory early three-year-old filly’s races in Sydney, Zardozi was transported to Melbourne where she ran at Sandown on October 1, finishing out of the money, before coming out six days later to collect the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Zardozi was then returned to Sydney to continue her preparation towards the Oaks.

“In the Edward Manifold she looked every bit the promising filly we were expecting this spring,” Cummings said.

“She really let down in a promising fashion, so you’d love to think she’s the type of filly who will look good over 2000 metres.

“I’ve been waiting a long time to see her over a trip.”

Under the set-weights and penalties conditions of Saturday’s race, Zardozi has to concede all but one of her rivals 2kg in weight.

Cummings said he expects Zardozi to rise to that challenge on Saturday.

“I expect a strong pace in this race and she’s freshened-up nicely and is nicely fit for this race,” Cummings said.

“If she can overcome the weight penalty and the draw, where she’ll be giving away a bit of a start, which tends to suit her anyway, she’ll be really steaming home.

“I’d like to think she’s got a mile-and-a-half written all over her after coming through this weekend.”

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