Zoutori heading to Goodwood
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Zoutori heading to Goodwood

The first heat of Friday’s Flemington jumpouts is certain to draw attention ahead of The Goodwood (1200m) with the presence of Santa Ana Lane, but ‘do not overlook’ Zoutori, according his co-trainer Simon Zahra.

The Adelaide Carnival’s sprint feature is set to be run at Morphettville on Saturday, May 16 and five-time Group One winner Santa Ana Lane is equal-second favourite alongside The Inevitable at $5.50 in BetEasy’s market, after two solid efforts at the elite level in Sydney.

Gytrash is the favourite at $3.40, however, down the market at $26 is Zoutori, the four-year-old son of Zoustar who was sold through Amarina Farm’s 2017 Inglis Easter draft on behalf of breeder by Frank Meduri, who Zahra says boasts an ‘unbelievable’ first-up record and is right in the mix as a winning chance in the Group 1 event.

“His first-up form is outstanding, and it will take a pretty good horse to beat him (in The Goodwood),” said Zahra.

“He’s won three races when first-up from six starts, including the Group Two Bobbie Lewis last spring, and most recently his run in the Oakleigh Plate against the pattern to finish second (when first-up) was huge.

“He has been up at the farm poking around the paddock for three weeks (since the William Reid) then he’s been back in work and already had one jumpout at Flemington last Friday.

“He’ll jump out again this Friday and he’ll have an easy week next week and travel to South Australia.

“I just think his first-up form is unbelievable, he runs his best races fresh no doubt and you can’t overlook it.”

Zahra and co-trainer Mathew Ellerton always thought we would see the best of Zoutori as an older horse and now as a rising five-year-old he is set to peak.

Last preparation he proved he is up to the class, putting in arguably the run of the race in the Oakleigh Plate and following that with a fourth in the Newmarket before finishing last in the William Reid after starting slowly, crossing the line essentially untouched.

Now with the deliberate fresh approach to The Goodwood, all he will need is to draw well and be afforded a touch of luck to be in the finish.

“This preparation he looks better again, there’s more weight on him,” Zahra added.

“We were thinking of going to the T.J. Smith Stakes (after the William Reid) but thought with a freshen this (Goodwood Handicap) was a better option.

“Under the handicap conditions of the race he should be well-weighted and he’s travelled up to Queensland in the past and travelled well so that won’t be an issue.”

Zahra explained a jockey is yet to be booked for Zoutori but a number of Melbourne riders have been flagged as options to take the ride. -racing.com