Twenty million dollar colt Zoustar could be a casualty of Sydney’s wet weather with trainer Chris Waller looking to scratch the three year old from Saturday’s Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick if the track is rain affected.
Waller will be without a runner in the glamour sprint on the first day of ‘The Championships’ if he considered the track too wet and withdraws the super star sprinter.
“I wouldn’t need much convincing not to run if it’s not on the better side of slow,” Waller told AAP.
Even though Zoustar has a won on a slow track as well as winning a recent Rosehill barrier trial on a track rated heavy, Waller is not prepared to take on the best sprinters in the world on a soft track.
Regular rider Jim Cassidy rode Zoustar in track work on Tuesday morning and while Waller said that the colt’s work was good, it was not as sharp as it would have been on top of the ground.
“Jimmy came and rode him this morning,” Waller said on Tuesday.
“His work was good but not as good as it would be on a firmer track.
“He won’t run on a wet track but we need to work out how wet.”
Zoustar was the three year old sprinting star of the Spring Carnival last year with two wins at Group 1 level.
The Northern Meteor colt came from the tail of the field to win the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill in September.
Then after a reported $20 million deal was finalised for Zoustar to become part of the Widden Stud register, the headline colt scored a dominant win in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
But at his first run back from a summer spell Zoustar raced below expectations with a lacklustre eighth to Appearance in the Group 1 $500,000 Guinness Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 15.
He pulled up slightly lame in the near foreleg and Waller undertook to trial Zoustar and obtain a vet’s clearance before he would be allowed to start again.
Waller and Cassidy were both happy with the Rosehill trial win and were keen to push ahead towards the T J Smith Stakes.
“Jimmy came back and said that his trial was perfect,” Waller said.
“That is just what I wanted to hear and we’ll press on with confidence now.”
If Waller decides to bypass the weight for age sprint on Saturday, he has the option of running at Randwick the following week on the second day of ‘The Championships’ in the Group 2 $500,000 Arrowfield Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) for the three year olds or wait for the weight for age Group 1 $400,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 26.
“We can wait till the following week and the Royal Sovereign Stakes against his own age or the All Aged Stakes,” Waller said.
Zoustar has drawn barrier six in a capacity field of eighteen in the T J Smith Stakes and is rated an $11 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Mick Price trainer Lankan Rupee heads the market order at $4 ahead of $6 chance Buffering who also disappointed first up when seventh to Villa Verde in the Group 2 $400,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 15.
Next in the betting at $9 is the Irish sprinter Gordon Lord Byron who is dropping back in distance after winning the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 29 with Rebel Dane sharing the $11 mark with Zoustar.
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