There’s definitely a new star in the staying ranks after Zaaki silenced the doubters and won the Group 1 Doomben Cup with emphatic fashion.
James McDonald sat comfortably off race leader Brandenberg until the home straight in what was a strongly run race.
Around the home turn J-mac seemed to be cruising while the rest of the field seemed to toil in the soft going. Once in the straight it was a masterclass as Zaaki pulled clear to win the Queensland Winter Carnival feature by 7 lengths.
The win propelled Zaaki from mid table in betting to $4 favourite for the Cox Plate after other stars of the race Sir Dragonet and Mugatoo failed to fire.
The win caps of an emphatic start to a training career for Annabelle Neasham who recorded her maiden Group 1 win to go with the Hollindale Stakes win she won at Group 2 level two weeks ago on the Gold Coast.
"The Hollindale was easy to watch – but because it is a Group One today, when we got to the 300m I said don’t get excited yet and then we got to the front and I said ‘I think we’re all right here’,” she said.
“I knew he was a very good horse, he just hasn’t taken a backwards step with me, but wow.
“I can’t wait for the Cox Plate.”
The move in betting moved Chris Waller trained Verry Elleegant off the top line of betting for the Cox Plate and Zaaki’s win will pose a tough question for jockey James McDonald who is regular jockey for both horses.