Zaaki and Mo'unga working at The Valley (Image: Racing Photos)
Cox Plate favourite Zaaki is back on track for next Saturday's $5 million feature after producing a 'super' gallop at his first look at The Valley on Saturday morning.
The Annabel Neasham-trained galloper was joined by stablemate and fellow Cox Plate entrant Mo'unga, with both horses comfortably handling the wet conditions and the different environment, to the delight of stable representative Todd Pollard.
He said Zaaki's gallop especially proved he had bounced off his shock defeat as long odds-on favourite in the Might And Power Stakes won by Probabeel.
"Zaaki, I guess it's not long between runs, just two weeks to get him right and get him to bounce back and it was obviously a pretty firm track last weekend so you hope they come through it well," he said.
"Probably today was the day that tells us the most and I had a big smile on my face after he went past the winning post because he worked super."
Zaaki held his place as the Cox Plate's $3 favourite in Sportsbet's market ahead of three-year-old Anamoe ($4), the Caulfield Guineas winner who also galloped for the first time at The Valley on Saturday, while Mo'unga is rated a $26 chance.
Pollard said he was grateful the stablemates were able to work together.
"Zaaki can be quite casual on his own and want to look around but just having Mo'unga there on the inside of him kept him really focused this morning," he said.
"The horse was super. He was on the bridle, strong late and strong through the line.
"Mo'unga only came down from Sydney on Thursday night, so it was a good chance for him to have a look around. He can be quite lazy and casual in his work, but Fred Kersley rode him today he was really happy.
"He had to niggle him a little bit, but his best work was late. We save the blinkers for race day and they seem to spark him up a lot, so we're ready for Saturday.
"Both horses have pulled up really well today and didn't blow too much, so fitness shouldn't be an issue, as you would expect deeper into a preparation heading into the big one.
"Let's get them there on Saturday and as long as they are happy and healthy, they both should run well."