Zaratone hits a high note

Canberra based trainer Nick Olive is concerned what impact the soft surface at Wagga will have on his star gallopers tilt at tomorrow’s $65,000 Wagga Town Plate.

The Wagga track is currently rated at a slow-6 and is expected to stay that way for tomorrow’s meeting which will not benefit the six-year-old.

Zaratone has won once from four starts on slow tracks, but that sole win came over two-and-a-half years ago in a much weaker class race at Queanbeyan.

“He definitely will be one of the main threats, but they’ve had a bit of rain down there,” said Olive.

“He goes alright on a wet track, but he is probably more effective on a dry track.”

The Zariz gelding has been in fine form this time in with the highlight coming two starts back when he won the $125,000 Group 3 Sebring Stakes at Rosehill.

“I think that he’s in the best form of his career. I’m really happy with the way he’s been going,” Olive said.

Zaratone has been top-weighted for tomorrow’s feature race and will relish the 3kg claim from apprentice jockey Lester Grace who has been engaged to ride the six-year-old.

“I just know that the horse is not a great weight carrier, but with the claim he’ll go down to 57kg which should be fine,” he said.

Olive said that while he is not yet sure how tomorrow’s race will pan out, he expects his star galloper to roll forward from barrier-seven.

TAB Sportsbet fixed odds has Zaratone as the $4.60 favourite to win the Wagga Town Plate with fellow Canberra gallopers Vilakazi Street ($5.50) and Onthelookout ($6.50) also prominent.

Olive has plans on sending Zaratone to Scone following tomorrow’s race to contest the $120,000 Listed Prydes Easifeed Quality Handicap (1100m) on the second day of the Scone Racing Carnival on Saturday May 19.