High-profile colt Zoustar will have formidable opposition in the Canterbury Stakes, a race trainer Chris Waller says is pivotal to his campaign.
The 1300m Group One at Randwick on Saturday will be three-year-old’s first foray into weight-for-age racing and Waller believes he is up to the test.
Plans for Zoustar include next month’s $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes ahead of a trip to Royal Ascot in June for the Diamond Jubilee.
“If he is to go to Royal Ascot he needs to be able to win here against the older horses,” Waller said.
“The Canterbury Stakes will be a tough race and of course I worry, but I worry about everything.
“He’s fit and ready for I’m looking forward to his return.”
Zoustar has not raced since November when he won the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington to add to his Group One win in the Golden Rose earlier in the spring.
The Coolmore cemented his value to Widden Stud which will stand him in partnership with Victoria’s Woodside.
Melbourne Cup winning owner Sheikh Fahad al Thani bought into the colt in January and Zoustar will race in his colours.
A win at Royal Ascot would further enhance Zoustar’s value as a dual hemisphere stallion.
Waller will nominate three other Group One winners in Saturday’s race – Sacred Falls, Red Tracer and My Kingdom Of Fife who is coming back from a long injury lay-off.
Guy Walter will pit his stable’s leading lights against each other and the Waller quartet with Appearance, Streama and Toydini to run.
Appearance, the winner of the Group Two Expressway and Apollo Stakes last month, missed a scheduled start in Saturday’s Group One Chipping Norton Stakes with a recurrence of a tying up problem which Walter has managed throughout her career.
She will have day out on Monday with a gallop between races at Kembla Grange.
“It wasn’t serious and she is fine now,” Walter said.
“She will have a gallop at Kembla just to tune her up.”