Zakouski racks up more Meydan glory in G2 Al Rashidiya
Zakouski recorded a third Meydan victory from four starts and a second course G2 success with a battling display the nine-furlong Al Rashidiya Sponsored By Emirates.com on Thursday, 11 February.
Last year’s G2 Zabeel Mile victor, who was runner-up to Lord Glitters in the G2 Singspiel Stakes on his seasonal return on Thursday, 21 January, soon settled in third on the inside rail behind Court House and Cap Francais.
Zakouski was angled out by William Buick passing the two-furlong pole and the son of Shamardal immediately moved up to go second from Cap Francais.
The Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old ran on strongly to collar Court House entering the final half-furlong and was pushed out to prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Court House edged out Lord Glitters for second as the first three home pulled a full six lengths clear of the rest of the field.
Charlie Appleby said: “Zakouski has definitely stepped forward for his first run of the year. I felt that the Singspiel Stakes became a bit disjointed with Mythical Magic getting off on a lead – I’m not saying it was ridden to suit Lord Glitters as we know that he is a good horse on his day.
“Coming into this evening, we felt that the race was going to be run at a slightly more sensible pace with everyone getting the right position. William got a lovely ride and punched Zakouski out nicely when he asked the horse a question.
“We have stepped up in trip this year and will probably look at the G1 Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday as his final Carnival start this year.
“It was a shortened Carnival this season but I am pleased that the field sizes have been well supported and it has been good, competitive racing. We have had a good night tonight but we have had a few beaten over the past few weeks, so it just shows how strong the competition is out here.”
William Buick said: “I always felt that the race would set up nicely for Zakouski, and it did. It was a nice, even pace and he did it well – he really knuckled down and showed a lot of good qualities. I think nine furlongs on this flat track really suits him well. “He was always going to come on for the Singspiel Stakes and that race was run at a fast pace, so he was entitled to get a bit tired. With a different race today and a run under his belt, he was set for a good run.”