Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller’s success at Brisbane’s winter carnival continued at Doomben today, with Zoustar and Vilanova producing a one-two finish in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m).
Waller took out his first Group 1 of the carnival last week in the Doomben Cup with Beaten Up and now has two genuine chances for another Group 1 in the JJ Atkins (1600m) in two weeks time.
Zoustar was having his first start in Brisbane and is now unbeaten from three outings while Vilanova backed up his runner-up finish in the Champagne Classic two weeks ago.
Waller said he thought Zoustar would have a slight edge over his stablemate today but is struggling to split them heading towards Queensland’s biggest two-year-old race.
“They’ll head to the Group 1 in two weeks time. They’re both nice colts,” Waller said.
“Vilanova was basically in front four or five wide turning for home but the other horse just got the better run.”
Experienced rider Jim Cassidy was aboard Zoustar for the first time and he was happy to endorse the lightly-raced colt for the longer 1600m trip in two weeks time.
“He’s been impressive in Sydney in his two and he’s taken the next step today,” Cassidy said.
“Without a doubt [he’ll get the 1600m]. He’s by Nortern Meteor and they just keep getting better and better.”
The pair will start among the top fancies in the JJ Atkins, as will fellow Sydney youngster Bound For Earth who finished off well for third.