Zacada shows his class

Zacada and Matt Cameron have the final race at Ellerslie well and truly wrapped up.

Zacada and Matt Cameron had the final race at Ellerslie well and truly wrapped up early in the run home yesterday.

The real Zacada stood up at Ellerslie yesterday.

The manner in which Zacada dealt to his rivals in the NZ Herald Super Sport 2100, winning effortlessly by five lengths, was a relief to his connections, particularly trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, who have never lost faith in the four-year-old son of Zabeel.

Zacada looked special when winning his debut at Rotorua as a late two-year-old without being trialled. He got home by four and three-quarter lengths that day after racing three-wide without cover and the performance saw him taken straight to Melbourne that spring with the Victoria Derby as his goal.

After running sixth in his Australian debut at Sandown, he wound up third-last behind subsequent Victoria Derby winner Tarzino over 1600 metres at Caulfield a month or so before his planned main mission. He raced erratically, hung severely on the home turn and did so much wrong his trainers were advised he must trial to the satisfaction of the Stewards before racing again so the remainder of the trip was aborted.

Zacada did manage a third to Tavago (the subsequent Australian Derby winner) in the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes 13 months ago in his second start back in New Zealand and follow up with a third in the Listed BMW 3YO Salver at Ellerslie, but it has been a case of plenty of patience to see him realise some of his potential.

After a couple of unplaced runs this campaign, he has continued to improve, finishing third over 1600 at Ellerslie last month then second over the same trip at Te Rapa before a second to Clarify when stepped up to 2100 metres at Te Rapa on December 17.

In both his latest two placings he hit the line strongly, suggesting he was about to gain a well-overdue win and punters weren’t about to miss out yesterday, backing him into a $3.10 favourite.

With Matt Cameron aboard, Zacada settled midfield early and was seventh and three-wide after 600 metres in the 2100-metre contest. Cameron improved him into third soon after and had him up to challenge on the home turn.

It was obvious when he took the lead 300 metres out he was revelling in his work and he cleared out, leaving Team Pete to fight on for second ahead of the winner’s stablemate Inastride.

Now that Zacada has got that winning feeling in his veins he should be a horse to watch in the good staying races. He is a Cups winner in the making.