A confident Mark Zahra is looking forward to his ride on star mare Verry Elleegant in Saturday’s 2020 Caulfield Cup (2400m) after she drew barrier 11.
Following the barrier draw, the Waller-trained mare has firmed into outright favouritism at $5, with star import Anthony Van Dyck drifting in the market after he drew barrier 21.
Zahra picked up the ride on Verry Elleegant when she came down to Melbourne, and steered her to victory in the Turnbull Stakes (1000m) last start.
She's now a five-time Group 1 winner. 👌
— Racing.com (@Racing) October 3, 2020
He feels that the barrier draw, predicted rain, and the step up in distance should all favour his galloper.
“I was rapt, I was thinking that’s about where I want in the middle somewhere so 11 is perfect,” Zahra said.
“The rain forecast will definitely help and she’s hitting form at the right time.
“Tough win the other day, her 2400m is good and a bit of rain and a good barrier so she’s in with a live chance for sure.”
“Just the way she toughed it out to the line, stepping up in trip, she had to peel wide and there was three or four of us across the track for most of the straight and she was toughest at the end so I don’t think the step up in journey will be a problem.”
Asked about the other runners in the race, Zahra was confident that he was on the best of the local hopes, and that main danger Anthony Van Dyck hadn’t been helped by the wide gate.
“He drew 21 so that will make it a bit tougher for him, outside him I think it’s even, the local horses are all very even.
“I wouldn’t swap my horse for anything.”
Find the full 2020 Caulfield Cup final field and barrier draw here.