Guineas contender Zakouski headlines Craven possibles

‘He has got to test his mettle now in a trial’

  • Thursday 11 April
  • News
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Zakouski could take a big leap in class after he featured among 20 entries for Wednesday’s bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

The Charlie Appleby-trained colt beat the well-touted Headman on his only juvenile start on the all-weather in November and is the general third-favourite for next month’s Qipco 2000 Guineas back at Headquarters.

Appleby said: “We will go for a trial and whether that is the Craven or the seven-furlong conditions race they have at the Craven meeting, I’m not sure.

“He has wintered well, but he has completely different profile to (Breeders’ Cup winner) Line Of Duty in that he has only had one run and is completely inexperienced.

“A lot of water needs to go under the bridge before he is a Group horse. He is doing everything asked of him.

“We’ve put him in the Guineas for a reason, but he has got to turn up in a trial first.

“I can’t fault him and he is pleasing us what we are seeing, but he has got to test his mettle now in a trial.”

Zakouski is not the only Godolphin-owned contender, with Saeed bin Suroor’s Group One winner Royal Marine also entered despite disappointing outing at Meydan in January.

Aidan O’Brien has the option of running Vertem Futurity Trophy third Western Australia, while his son Joseph has entered No Needs Never, a Dundalk Listed winner last year.

Gay Kelleway has Global Spectrum in the mix, with the Dutch Art colt having landed a huge cash prize when winning the Al Bidah Mile in Qatar in February.

“Global Spectrum did his final piece of work before the Craven on Wednesday morning, quickening away from his usual lead horse. He is happy and relaxed and his jockey, Gerald Mosse, is convinced that he has improved since he got back from Qatar,” said Kelleway.

“I’m pleased to hear the race has as many as 20 entries. It sounds crazy, but I want a big field as that would mean a genuine pace and no messing around.

“We’ve re-routed him here rather than a race at Longchamp on Sunday because the French race has cut up into a small field.

“I’m sure if he runs well in the Craven I will be under pressure to go for the Guineas, but I’m 50-50 at the moment between that and its French equivalent – he will go wherever I think he has the best chance.

“He’s a very good horse and is easy to train – he doesn’t have any complications or require any gadgets. Fast ground plays to his strengths and he will definitely stay further than a mile in time.”

Kadar won his only start last year for Karl Burke, while Creationist has won two from three so far for Roger Charlton, who also has Momkin in the field.

Hugo Palmer’s Set Piece inflicted Creationist’s only defeat and he could be in opposition again, with the Martyn Meade-trained Confiding another key name.

Richard Hannon has a strong hand with Fox Champion, Kuwait Currency, Walkinthesand and Watan, while Almashriq, Arctic Sound, Jackstar, Pogo, Prince Eiji and Skardu complete the list of possibles.

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