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Image: Steve Hart
An application is before Victorian authorities to have staff members of Annabel Neasham head to Melbourne

Sydney trainer Annabel Neasham hopes to get the green light to send staff to Victoria for Zaaki to continue his quest towards the Cox Plate.

Neasham would like to start Zaaki in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on September 25 after the imported galloper scored an impressive win in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

If Neasham is unable to get staff into Melbourne later this week, the back-up plan is for Zaaki to run in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 18.

Zaaki’s campaign is being geared towards the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 23, for which he is the $2.80 favourite with TAB.

“It will be either the George Main or the Underwood next,” Neasham told RSN.

“If we can get the green light to get the staff down, I think we’ll get a decision this week, that will make up my mind.

“I would love to run him in the Underwood which would be three weeks between runs, then two weeks to the Caulfield Stakes and two weeks to the Cox Plate would be the path I would like to do.

“My boys are ready to go and go into 14 days quarantine if we get the green hope.”

Neasham also hopes James McDonald will get the OK to get down to Melbourne for the 2021 Cox Plate.

“I was reading about crowds maybe coming back for the Cox Plate,” Neasham said.

“It might be pie in the sky stuff, but there could be a chance James could get down there as it’s still a fair way away.”

Stablemate Mo’Unga, victorious first-up in the Group 1 Winx Stakes at Randwick on August 21, is Melbourne bound on Saturday for the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Neasham said Mo’unga would make a hit-and-run visit, returning to Sydney after Saturday’s race to continue his spring campaign.

 
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