A tough performance by Zoumon has delivered the promising Tulloch Lodge stayer his biggest win, putting him on a path to chase further feature race success.
Trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are renowned for producing horses who can grind out a finish and Zoumon ($2.70 fav) has proven no exception, doing all the bullocking work in the lead then digging deep to stave off the challenge of Bold Mac ($4.60) and win Saturday’s Listed McKell Cup (2000m) by a short head.
That pair spaced their rivals with Lord Ardmore ($9) best of the rest another three lengths away.
Zoumon had company in the lead with Bartholomew Dias camping at his flanks but he was able to absorb the pressure and kick strongly for jockey Tim Clark in a performance Bott described as “very satisfying”.
“There was a bit of pressure throughout, but he loves this distance,” Bott said.
“With his light weight (53kg), Tim was able to make it a true staying test. Tim rated him nicely, kept building into it and when they challenged him, he was able to find.”
Zoumon was only second-up on Saturday and Bott said connections had mapped out a winter Cups campaign, nominating the Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 1 and Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 13 as the most likely options.
Clark praised Bott and Waterhouse for having Zoumon in prime condition for the McKell Cup and said the horse showed a good will to win.
“He was well set up after that nice return over 1800, stepping to 2000 with the drop in weight, it looked a really good race for him,” Clark said.
“He really had to dig deep there at the furlong when Jase (Collett on Bold Mac) came off my back and he was really in for the fight.”
It was Clark’s second McKell Cup after his 2015 win on Sense Of Occasion and also gave the Waterhouse-Bott combination its second success after Hush Writer four years ago.
– RAS NewsWire