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Annabel Neasham trained Zaaki jumped back into the winners circle on Saturday with an impressive win in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes, the final Group 1 on the Melbourne Cup Carnival

Zaaki wins the Group 1 Underwood Stakes

Arguably one of the best distance horses in Australia, Zaaki notched up another Group 1 distance title when winning the $2m Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.

Zaaki had not been seen on the track since finishing 3rd behind Probabeel in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes after being scratched the morning of the Cox Plate due to an elevated temperature.

After the disappointment of the Caulfield Stakes where Zaaki jumped a $1.28 favourite in running, rider James McDonald was making no mistakes this time as he drove Zaaki to the front and took up the running early on. 

Zaaki had been solid in betting before the jump being backed from $2.50 to $2.35 before the jump and the Neasham Import looked to be getting the early advantage when main dangers Colette and Hungry Heart had to settle worse than midfield. 

From there on it was easy running as McDonald led from the front and gained a 4 length lead in the home straight. A lead that stablemate Mo’Unga and Godolphin trained Cascadian failed to close before hitting the line. 

The win marked Zaaki’s second at Group 1 level in Victoria but more significantly is was rider James McDonalds tenth for the carnival after scoring an easy win in the Group 1 Darley Classic earlier in the day.

Across the line McDonald shared a hug with fellow jockey Brett Prebble who had held the record for winners in the Carnival previously with 9 which he achieved twice in 1999 and 2000.

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