Azan banking on Zugulu
RICHARD AZAN has won almost every major race at Caymanas Park including two legs of the Supreme Ventures Limited Two-Year-Old Series with RAMPAGE in 2005. However, he is yet to greet one of his charges in the winners' enclosure in the series-opening Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy, a blot he hopes to correct next Monday with ZUGULU.
The dark bay colt ran on strongly on October 3, falling from the clouds on an overcast day, to sweep past rivals inside the final half furlong to romp home on a wet track in 1:07.3 for 1100 metres.
ZUGULU should have debuted a week earlier but had decked his rider and bolted prior to the start. After returning with a four-length victory, this time bolting away from rivals, other connections are pointing to him as the horse to beat in the $10.8m series.
Azan, however, wasn't ready to call shots. He noted that of the 14 entries for the $2.95m Cash Pot Trophy, ZUGULU is among the least experienced.
"That was just a first-time run. He will be meeting a lot of seasoned horses. He does have a lot of ability, let's hope he can exhibit it in the race," he said, revealing that he will only field two runners in the 1200-metre race - ZUGULU and FEDORA.
Meanwhile, ZUGULU, should relish having FEDORA to keep Wayne DaCosta's DREAMLINER honest on the lead. Running on lasix in her third start, she pressed 1-5 DREAMLINER on the lead in splits of 22.4, 46.2, resulting in DaCosta's outsider, 16-1 shot VISION capitalising with an upset come-from-behind win.
"It looks so," Azan said, agreeing that ZUGULU appears to be a closer. "He is quite a big horse. He takes a while to get going. Probably that's his style, but you can never tell when he comes back a second time."