Zoutenant has been backed into 2016 Eskimo Prince Stakes odds of $17 and trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident that the speedy colt is ready to run well first-up.
Zoutenant started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a flat effort in the Bob Ingham Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 18 and he failed to fire when he made his black-type racing debut in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 8, but he claimed just the second win of his racing career when he won a three horse race in the Carramar Park Handicap (1000m) at Hawkesbury on August 29.
The Zizou colt produced another strong effort in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 and he beat home the likes of Japonisme and Counterattack when he finished second behind Exosphere in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 3.
Zoutenant was transferred to the care of Gai Waterhouse following the end of his spring preparation and the leading Sydney trainer told Racing Ahead this morning that she has been delighted with everything that the colt has done ahead of the 2016 Eskimo Prince Stakes.
“He is super, he is a really beautiful colt,” Waterhouse said.
“He has just done everything right since coming to my stable and he has matured tremendously.
“He is extremely fit and he is ready to pounce first-up.
“I think he has definitely improved those few lengths that he was beaten a couple of months ago.”
The 2016 Eskimo Prince Stakes field was released on Wednesday and Zoutenant is set to take on the likes of two-time Group 1 winner Pride Of Dubai, the well-backed Counterattack and Magic Millions Maiden winner Wolf Cry.
Waterhouse admits that there are a number of talented horses in the Eskimo Prince Stakes field, but she remains confident that her three-year-old can be more than competitive.
“I think that it is a really quality field,” Waterhouse said.
“I can’t fault the quality of horses and it is going to be hard to win the race, but he will be right there.”
Zoutenant is currently available at 2016 Eskimo Prince Stakes odds of $17 with Ladbrokes, while Counterattack ($3.90) is now a narrow favourite from Pride Of Dubai ($4.20), Wolf Cry ($5.50) and Spill The Beans ($7.50).