Horses To Follow » Zaaki


Zaaki did well to finish third in the Hampton Court Stakes, coming from the rear in a race in which it was probably an advantage to race handily. Restrained early on from his inside draw in stall four, he was keen enough through the early stages of the race. Fourth last of the 16 runners as they turned for home, he made nice ground among horses up the home straight. He moved into sixth as they raced to the 1f marker, and he stayed on strongly from there to take third place. Hunting Horn was an impressive winner, but he got to within a half a length of runner-up Crossed Baton.

The other three horses who, with him, filled the first four places, raced prominently from flagfall. They occupied three of the first five places throughout, and it was difficult for anything to come from the rear. Also, Hunting Horn raced from stall 12, while Crossed Baton raced from stall 15. It is rarely an advantage to race from a low draw over 10 or 12 furlongs at Ascot, as Zaaki did.

Winless in four attempts as a juvenile, the Leroidesanimaux colt won on his debut for Sir Michael Stoute at Thirsk in April, and he stepped forward from that next time when he finished second in a handicap at Chelmsford off a mark of 100, just one length behind Poet’s Prince. The winner finished a good second to his stable companion Comminique in the London Gold Cup next time, and was a little unlucky not to finish better than fourth in the Investec Handicap at Epsom on Derby day. This was another nice step forward from Zaaki, and he should continue to progress. His best two runs have been his last two, both over 10 furlongs, so this looks like a good trip for him. He will be of interest in another Group 3 race, but he would also be of interest in a good 10-furlong handicap off his mark of 104.

Ascot, 21st June 2018