Horses To Follow » Zacinto


It was difficult to see through the fog, but there was a lot to like about the way in which Zacinto finished off his race to win a Listed race over a mile at Goodwood on Saturday. Weak in the market beforehand despite his home reputation, he travelled really well three furlongs out. He raced on what looked like a disadvantageous part of the track, out in the middle, off the stands rail, yet he picked up well and always had the better of runner-up Hartley, despite the fact that he only got home by a head. The previous time that we had seen Zacinto was in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last September, when he was sent off as favourite but got beaten a neck by Westpahlia. The ground was quite sticky that day, however, the pace was slow and Zacinto was in front plenty early enough. Even at that, there was no disgrace in going down by a neck to Westphalia, a horse who went on to finish second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on his next start.
Zacinto was injured shortly after that race – he had a problem with his tibia, apparently – so we didn’t see him again until Saturday, but Sir Michael Stoute had apparently been bringing along steadily at home, and his work had been improving all the while. It was interesting to listen to Ryan Moore’s interview afterwards. He said that he was still green in the Champagne Stakes, which was perfectly understandable given that it was only his second ever run (and he must have been showing a lot at home as it isn’t usually Stoute’s style to pitch them into a Group 2 contest on just their second ever start). Tellingly, he also said that he thought that there was plenty more to come, that he would be better on ground that was better than the ground that he encountered on Saturday, and that, based on his home work, he would probably be even better over a mile and two furlongs than over this mile.

1st August, 2009