Friday News Briefs: Cox Plate favourite Zaaki under drug cloud

Zaaki wins The Q22 at Eagle Farm

Despite there being no Group 1 racing this weekend around the country, there has been plenty of news to chew on throughout the week. Let’s dig in to the top stories doing the rounds.

returns positive sample from JRA Plate

Rising star Zaaki has returned a positive sample from his win in the JRA Plate on April 24 at . Having taken out the AD Hollindale Stakes, the Doomben Cup and the inaugural Q22 since that day, the favourite for this year’s Cox Plate has certainly had his name dragged through the mud. Trainer Annabel Neasham has copped a fine for the result, and now the whole racing world is questioning his recent performances.

Lost And Running locked in for

Tabcorp has announced its slot-holder for this year’s running of The Everest, with the John O’Shea-trained Lost And Running taking up their precious spot. Having won six of his first seven starts, the Luskin Star Stakes winner is touted as one of the best up-and-coming sprinters in the country. Despite no experience in Group races, O’Shea has suggested that this son on is perhaps the best sprinter he has ever trained.

Love conquers all at Royal Ascot

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Love claimed her fourth Group 1 win when taking out the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on day two of the Royal Ascot Carnival. It was her first run in 300 days, but the even-money favourite proved too good for a field that included last year’s Cox Plate runner-up, Armory. Despite the strenuous requirements for international runners heading to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival later in the year, Love is a $26 chance in all-in markets for this year’s Cox Plate.

Isotope to miss Spring Carnival

Tony Gollan’s champion filly Isotope has been ruled out of this year’s Spring Carnival after suffering a colic attack last month. Having been aimed towards The Everest and Golden Eagle later in the year, the Deep Field filly is expected to spend the best part of 12 months on the sidelines. Punters surely do not need to be reminded that she was sent around as favourite in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas this year, only to dislodge jockey Ryan Maloney upon entering the home straight.

McIntosh in hot water for on-air gaffe

Ric McIntosh is one of the most popular race-callers going around at the moment. The voice of the Warrnambool May Carnival had a moment he would rather forget last weekend at . McIntosh was speaking about The , which is a race consisting of nags who have had at least 25 starts without breaking through for a maiden win. McIntosh went as far to say if your horse was a “sp***ic”, it was a chance of gaining a start. Ric Mac went on to make an on-air apology on Saturday after the opening race on the middle day of the carnival.

Apprentice jockeys racking up winners

For many, the winter months is the off-season in the racing industry, but for young apprentices it is a chance to stake their claim for the spring when weight becomes an issue for some fancied gallopers. Apprentices and Alysha Collett bagged five winners at Morphettville and respectively last Saturday, whilst the in-form Reece Jones netted four winners at the Randwick meeting.

Admit It disqualified at Warwick Farm

Finding winners is hard enough, but when you see your runner cross the line as the winner, you have those winnings spent within seconds. On Monday at Warwick Farm, however, punters who backed Admit It in race two were left scratching their heads after finding out their runner had been disqualified before correct weight had been declared. Apprentice jockey Reece Jones had weighed in light upon returning to scales, meaning Admit It backers were left with a negative balance in their online betting accounts if they had already spent those winnings.

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