Zoutori goes close to first Gr.1 win
Zoustar came within half of length of siring his third individual Gr.1 winner when Zoutori came with a wet sail in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on Saturday.
Four-year-old gelding Zoutori already had a win in the Gr.2 Bobbie Lewis Stakes, as well as placed efforts in two Gr.3s, on his CV before he lined up as a $21 chance in the 18-runner Oakleigh Plate (Handicap).
It's a race that has been won by the likes of Fastnet Rock, Snitzel and Starspangledbanner in its rich history. This year's Plate was won by the front-running filly Pippie but she was being closed all the way to the line by Zoutori.
Zoutori had nine of his rivals in front of him turning into the home straight but he showed an electric turn of foot against top-class sprinters to get as close as he did. He was ridden by Jamie Kah for trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra (who were also responsible for the third) and surely his turn at the highest level is very near.
It was also Zoutori's first run since early-November, and his connections had expressed a concern before the contest as to whether he'd be race-sharp enough to go close. It now looks like he will bid to emulate Zoustar's daughter Sunlight in winning the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March.
Zoutori is out of Atotori, a mare by Fusaichi Pegasus' son Haradasun. Atotori's dam is by Sadler's Wells.