Trainer Chris Waller has confirmed that Zoustar will contest the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) after the talented colt recorded a comfortable barrier trial victory at Rosehill Gardens this morning.
Zoustar contested the opening trial of the day over 1030 metres with regular jockey Jimmy Cassidy on board and sat towards the tail of the four horse field before finishing strongly to take out the trial by one and a quarter lengths.
Waller told TVN that he was happy with the performance of Zoustar and confirmed that the son of Northern Meteor would contest the T.J. Smith Stakes without a nose roll and a tongue tie.
“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.”
Zoustar was one of the star performers of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but he failed to impress at the start of his autumn preparation; tiring badly in the final stages of the race to finish eighth behind Appearance in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 15.
The three-year-old was found to be lame after the race and connections reportedly considered ending the racing career of the stallion prospect, but he will have the chance to record his third victory at Group 1 level in the T.J. Smith Stakes and could still head overseas for a tilt at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) during the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting.
Zoustar started his racing career with three straight victories, including the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m), and made his Group 1 debut with a second place finish behind Romantic Touch in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 last year.
The well-bred colt started his spring campaign with a fourth place finish behind Va Pensiero in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) before producing a stellar performance to win the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) from an outside gate.
Zoustar stamped himself as the next big stallion prospect with a dominant four and a half lengths win in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 and finished his campaign with a second Group 1 victory in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Zoustar ($3.60) is currently on the third line of 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes betting markets behind Lankan Rupee ($3.60) and Buffering ($6.50).