Zardozi Wins The Kennedy Oaks
Zardozi won the 2023 Kennedy Oaks under a calm and collected ride by New South Wales jockey James McDonald.
Heading into the home straight Zardozi and McDonald sat three lengths off the lead from Amazonian Lass, however under a hands and heels ride the filly was quickly taken to contest the lead at the 300m.
Stirred up by McDonald it wouldn’t take Zardozi long to move clear of the field and set up a commanding three length lead. Despite Aethelflaed and Basilinna rallying late they were unable to catch the Godolphin filly who showed she’s in a class of her own at Flemington.
In his post race interview, Godolphin trainer, James Cummings said that Zardozi “packed a punch” over 2500m which was more impressive “for only a slender filly”.
"J-Mac absolutely nailed it to win a Derby (on Riff Rocket) and Oaks in the same carnival is a credit to him ... she let go like a weapon," he said.
Victory in the Oaks aboard Zardozi was James McDonalds first and was clearly full of excitement after the race.
"My trainer's a freak," he said. "He set this horse for this race and it paid off, she's a star filly ... she's got an incredible turn of foot."
Zardozi was a $2.70 favourite going into the race and delivered for the punters by winning with an official margin of 2.25 lengths from Aethelflaed and trainer Matthew Smith.
Damian Oliver, running in his final VRC Oaks before his retirement finished third aboard Basilinna.