Zululand ran on well in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday and is set to have his next race start in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on August 30.
Zululand was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Stephen Baster in the early stages of the Vain Stakes and tracked into the race nicely, but was blocked for a run in the straight before running on to finish fifth after he found clear room in the final stages of the race.
The Fastnet Rock colt played up at the gates before the running of the Vain Stakes and will be forced to jump out in front of Racing Victoria stewards on Friday, but co-trainer Tom Dabernig told RSN that he was happy with the performance of the Fastnet Rock colt and confirmed that he would contest the McNeil Stakes next weekend.
“We were happy with him,” Dabernig said.
“He was a bit above himself pre-race and he played up a little bit going into the gates, so he has to get reinstated on Friday at Flemington, but we were really thrilled with him.
“He is a big colt that doesn’t like racing inside of horses, so an inside gate isn’t always ideal and he didn’t get a lot of room just turning for home.
“We were very pleased and it will bring him on a lot.
“He had a good healthy blow from it and he will probably run in a fortnight in the three-year-old 1200.”
Zululand was purchased for $1.5 million by Coolmore at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and has been touted as a future stallion prospect.
The colt made his racing debut with a second place finish behind Nordic Empire in the Flemington Equine Clinic Plate (1000m) at Caulfield on November 30 and finished fourth in the Group 1 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 1 before making up good ground late for ninth in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on February 22.
Zululand recorded his first race win in the Group 2 Henry Bucks Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 8 and was far from disgraced when fifth in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 before narrowly missing out on becoming the first son of Fastnet Rock to win a Group 1 event as a two-year-old when he finished second behind Go Indy Go in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
The Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) is set to be the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for Zululand, but David Hayes is also eyeing the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2400m) with the colt.
Zululand is currently available at 2014 Victoria Derby odds of $26 in 2014 Caulfield Guineas betting markets and is priced at a quote of $13 to win the Victoria Derby.