Cox Plate favourite has comfortable hit out at Warwick Farm

Boom galloper Zaaki did his best work late as he took his first spring step towards the Cox Plate while Golden Eagle contender Private Eye impressed at Warwick Farm barrier trials on Monday.

Annabel Neasham’s exciting import, which remains the $4 Cox Plate favourite with TAB, was given a quiet hit out over 900m on his home track.

Jockey Raphael Marchelli had Zaaki two lengths off the back of the field before allowing the seven-year-old to go through his gears in the straight, passing Wisdom Of Water late to finish 5-3/4 lengths off heat winner Private Eye.

Neasham is still weighing up where to kick off Zaaki’s spring campaign but plans to plot a course towards the Cox Plate at The Valley on October 23.

Zaaki gets warm late in the third Group & Listed trial of the morning, which was taken out by Queensland Guineas winner Private Eye.

Meanwhile, Private Eye looked excellent when winning what was his second trial this spring as trainer Joe Pride plots a course to Sydney’s $7.5m Golden Eagle, where he is a $15 chance.

The last start winner of the Group 2 Queensland Guineas in May edged clear late to score in a time of 52.14 (last 600m in 33.69).

A date with the Group 3 Show County Quality on August 21 at Randwick will be his first spring assignment.

Another spring star to step out was Rosehill Guineas winner Mo’unga.

The four-year-old is finished at the rear of the four horse trial but would have lost no admirers with a comfortable hit out over 1100m.

He is also being aimed at the Cox Plate, where he is rated a $21 hope.

One-time Australian Derby hero Quick Thinker was good when edging out the Bjorn Baker-trained Maurice’s Medad to claim the heat in 1:08.11 (last 600m 34.84).

Quick Thinker (Paul Whitmore) takes out the opening trial at Warwick Farm on Monday from Maurice's Medad (Brandon Lerena), Attorney (Aurelien Brengues) and Mo'unga (Joel Butler). @[email protected]/lAnmUtTcSO

Melbourne Cup hopeful She’s Ideel was also given a strong workout when winning an 1100m heat in 1:06.83 (last 600m in 34.72).

She’s Ideel is $51 outsider in Cup betting.

Originally published asZaaki coasts in trial as Pride galloper catches the Eye

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