By Glenn Davis
Impressive colt Zousain sent a chilling warning to his winter carnival rivals with a dominant win in the Group Two Champagne Classic at Doomben on Saturday.
Zousain, whose previous win was in a Maiden at Randwick in February, gave Waller his fourth win in the Champagne Classic when he downed Mishani Hustler by 2-1/2 lengths.
Blue Book was third, a further short neck away.
Waller claimed his first Champagne Classic with Pressday in 2010 before taking it out again with Brazen Beau (2014) and with Tangled last year.
Waller opened a Gold Coast stable last August with a plan to target Brisbane races with horses who don’t measure up to Sydney grade.
However, Zousain showed he had a bright future and will target the major winter juvenile races.
“Chris has always had a high opinion of him and it’s been wet tracks that have brought him underdone,” said Waller’s Gold Coast foreman Paul Shailer.
“He’ll go on to the J J Atkins and we expect him to be very competitive.
“He’s a big colt who only arrived a few days ago at our stables and my job has been just to manage him.”
Zousain’s win gave jockey Kerrin McEvoy his second win in the Champagne Classic after winning aboard Tangled.
Trainer Stephen Lee credited the upset win of Anton En Avant in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) to his recent move to the Gold Coast.
Anton En Avant, ridden by Matt McGillivray and starting at $161 with UBET, scooted through a gap along the rails to down Lovani by a half length with Rising Red third, only a nose away.
The rising nine-year-old’s win was the second leg of a double for McGillivray who earlier won aboard the Toby Edmonds-trained Havasay in the Class six Plate (1110m).
“He’s improved out of sight since I moved to the Gold Coast,” said Lee, who formerly trained at Ballina.
“He’s only small but he’s got a big heart and it’s on to the Caloundra Cup now.”
The Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) will be run at the Sunshine Coast on June 30.
Anton En Avant was a $7,000 buy at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sales and has now earned more than $408,000.
Racing Queensland webnews May 12