Zougotcha ready to go in the Doncaster Mile

Chris Waller remains comfortable with his decision to scratch Zougotcha from the Group 1 Coolmore Classic despite the filly scoring an impressive win on the Rosehill under card.

The three-year-old was withdrawn from Saturday’s feature race due to a wide barrier, instead going around in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) where she justified her $1.50 quote with betr, reeling in Glint Of Silver ($20) by a length with Brosnan ($13) another 1-1/4 lengths away third.

Waller had won six of the previous eight editions of the Phar Lap Stakes, including with Winx in 2015, and said while missing a Group 1 opportunity seemed tough, building a horse’s confidence was more important.

“I put it in perspective to explain to the owners when we weren’t running (in the Coolmore), Winx hadn’t even started her winning sequence at this stage,” Waller said.

“I can’t tell you how much confidence is for horses and (especially) young horses.

“A handicap is designed for every horse to go past the post together so a good filly like her, you want to have a little bit in your favour. When she drew wide, it wasn’t a hard decision to make.

“In my opinion, she’ll be running in ten Group One races in her life if she stays sound and we look after her. One Group One that we miss today, we’ll get our chance.”

Zougotcha missed her scheduled return run in the Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) due to an elevated temperature and was a game fourth in a blanket finish when re-routing to the Surround Stakes (1400m).

Waller expects her to take further improvement from Saturday’s win and he won’t be waiting long to raise the bar to Group 1 company with the Doncaster Mile (1600m) next on the agenda.

“Her next step is something bigger which will probably be the Doncaster,” Waller said.

“That will be another mountain to climb.”

Zougotcha has 50.5kg in the Doncaster and Waller has yet to lock in a jockey.

About RS NewsWire

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