Zakouski (GB) (Shamardal) was one of a trio of winners for Godolphin on Thursday evening, as he scored in the G2 Al Rashidiya over a grassy1800 metres.
Covered up in the garden spot a few lengths off the pace set by Court House (Ire) (Dawn Approach Ire), Zakouski enjoyed a dream trip while saving ground. Shaken up leaving the bend, the Godolphin colourbearer swung off the fence and tackled Court House just under a furlong from home. He clawed his way past that stubborn foe and went on to win by 3/4 of a length. Noticeably warm in the preliminaries, the grey Lord Glitters (Fr) (Whipper) made a stirring late run and just missed second by a nose.
“I always thought the race was set up nicely for him,” said William Buick, who was winning his third race on the card in tandem with trainer Charlie Appleby, having taken the second with Star Safari (GB) (Sea The Stars Ire) and the third with Secret Protector. “The pace was nice and even, he did well, he really knuckled down and showed a lot of good qualities. This flat track and nine furlongs really suited him well.”
Added Appleby, “We felt this race would be run with a bit more of a sensible pace and William got a lovely ride here today. We have stepped up in trip for the horse, so we will look at Jebel Hatta for him on Super Saturday.”
A novice winner at first asking at Kempton in November of 2018, the bay resurfaced after a lengthy break to take fifth in the G3 Craven S. in April of 2019. Gelded, Zakouski returned 267 days later and scored in a Meydan handicap last January, before adding a neck victory in the G2 Zabeel Mile on Feb. 20. Given another 200-plus day absence, the now 5-year-old gelding returned to be fourth in Newmarket’s G2 Challenge S. on Oct. 9, and won the Listed Marshal S. there on Halloween. Trainer Charlie Appleby transferred Zakouski back to the desert and he ran second to rival Lord Glitters in the G2 Singspiel S. on Jan. 21.
The late Shamardal has left 151 black-type winners so far, and Zakouski is one of 77 group winners for the former Darley sire.
One of three group winners out of his dam, Zakouski (GB) is a half-brother to Australian Group 3 winner and G1 Golden Rose S. runner-up and sire Albrecht (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice Aus), as well as King’s Command (GB) (Dubawi Ire), a winner of the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon.
Zakouski’s female family is one of the best in Australasia, as his dam is a full-sister to Australian Horse of the Year Lonhro (Aus) (Octagonal NZ), as well as MG1SW Niello (Aus) (Octagonal NZ) and MSW Shannara (Aus) (Octagonal NZ). New Zealand champion 3-year-old and G1 NZ 2000 Guineas hero Catalyst (NZ) (Darci Brahma NZ) is also in the extended family.
Thursday, Meydan, DubaiAL RASHIDIYA SPONSORED BY EMIRATES.COM-G2, $163,000, Meydan, 2-11, 3yo/up, 9fT, 1:48.39, gd.1—ZAKOUSKI (GB), 126, g, 5, by Shamardal1st Dam: O’Giselle (Aus), by Octagonal (NZ)2nd Dam: Shadea (NZ), by Straight Strike 3rd Dam: Concia (NZ), by First ConsulO/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charlie Appleby; J-William Buick.$97,800. Lifetime Record: SW-Eng, 8-5-1-0, $396,292. *1/2 toAlbrecht (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice Aus), GSW & G1SP-Aus,$454,634; and King’s Command (GB) (Dubawi Ire), GSW-Fr.Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A.2–Court House (Ire), 126, g, 6, Dawn Approach (Ire)–Crossanza(Ire), by Cape Cross (Ire). (€38,000 RNA Wlg ’15 GOFNOV;€200,000 Ylg ’16 GOFORB). O-Rabbah Racing; B-Nanallac Stud(IRE); T-Simon Crisford. $32,600.3–Lord Glitters (Fr), 129, g, 8, Whipper–Lady Glitters (Fr), byHomme de Loi (Ire). (€25,000 Ylg ’14 AR14; €270,000 HRA ’17ARJUN). O-Geoff & Sandra Turnbull; B-SCA Elevage deTourgeville & Mme Hilary Erculiani (FR); T-David O’Meara.$16,300.Margins: 3/4, NO, 6.Also Ran: Bless Him (Ire), Cap Francais (GB), Kinross (GB), Dream Castle (GB). Click for the Racing Post chart or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO.