Wet track wonder: Zin Zan Eddie scored well at Randwick on Saturday. Photo: bradleyphotos老域名出售备案老域名Christmas has come and gone, but Zin Zan Eddie’s presents usually arrive in January.
Every Australia Day weekend to be precise. And for the third time in four years Matthew Smith’s wet-track wonder lined his owners’ stockings with a sackful of prize money with a first black-type win at Randwick on Saturday.
“That’s the third time out of the last four years he’s won on the Australia Day weekend,” said managing part-owner Frank Cook, with one of those victories coming on Australia Day itself.
The only blip? That was when Zin Zan Eddie missed more than 12 months of racing with serious knee problems, which sparked fears he may not be the same horse again.
But as the heavens opened across Sydney late in the week, so did the narrow chance Zin Zan Eddie might have been afforded in a race at this level on any firm surface.
And having walloped his four rivals in the $150,000 listed race, Zin Zan Eddie improved his record to nine placings from 10 starts on rain-affected tracks and scored his first win since the Australia Day weekend in 2015.
“He was out for a year with knee issues and he finally came back and we knew we just had to find a heavy track,” Cook said. “He was going up in grade and down in weight.
“[Trainer] Matthew Smith has done an amazing job. He’s such an honest performer and I bought his mother this Easter. We’ve got a Not A Single Doubt coming through and getting this bloke back on a wet track we thought he would be pretty hard to beat today.”
As Cook ambushed Jason Collett’s post-race interview to slap a Zin Zan Eddie hat on his head, it continued a lucrative January for the longtime racing enthusiasts with wife Chris winning the ladies’ bonus on offer for the first all-female owned horse home in the Magic Millions Classic.
Collett was also on board Faraway Town on the Gold Coast, but had a much easier time on Zin Zan Eddie as he sailed to a two-and-a-quarter length win from Voilier with Hidden Warrior one-and-a-half lengths away third.
“That was easy,” said Collett, who will ride at New Zealand’s Karaka Million program on Sunday. “That’s the first time I’ve ridden him on raceday. I’ve ridden him in trials and today everything was in his favour. He had the weight, soft conditions were in his favour and it gave me a lot of confidence.”
Voilier’s trainer Gary Nickson will press on to the Eskimo Prince Stakes back against his own age after a tough front-running effort under Kathy O’Hara.
“On that effort we’ll probably go there,” he said. “Those conditions made it more like a mile.”
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