Annabel Neasham has nominated Zaaki for the world’s richest mile race, the All-Star Mile.
In what can only be described as a rollercoster spring preparation, Zaaki finished his campaign with a dominant win in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington and Neasham is confident the three-time G1 winner will relish the mile trip at Headquarters on March 19.
Since racing in Australia, Zaaki has won six of his nine starts, earning almost $4 million in prize money, making him a likely/popular vote for the race, with polls opening on January 24.
“The All-Star Mile is a very attractive race for Zaaki, we’d want to have him wound up and ready to go so we’d probably look to have one lead-up race in Sydney before taking him to Melbourne,” Neasham said.
“We’ll likely only give him three runs during the autumn because we’re very keen to bring him back down to Melbourne for the Cox Plate at the end of next year.
“His spring campaign was a real rollercoaster ride, obviously we were very disappointed to have to withdraw him from the Cox Plate on the morning of the race, but to win the Mackinnon was a pretty big consolation prize.
“There are a few VRC people in his ownership group, so I’m sure it would’ve been a huge thrill for them to see him win the Mackinnon in such style on their home track.
“We know he likes Flemington and I’m pretty confident he’s as good over a mile as he is over 2000 metres, so The All-Star Mile should suit him down to the ground.
“I really like the concept of The All-Star Mile, there’s already been a big buzz even though it’s only been on the calendar for a few years now, so hopefully we can get both our horses into the race.”
Neasham has also nominated international galloper Top Ranked for the 2022 All-Star Mile.