The raising of weights for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap has made the task for Zoutori a little tougher according to his co-trainer Simon Zahra.
Training in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, Zahra said he would have liked to have seen Bivouac and Nature Strip, equal topweights when handicaps were released, remain in Saturday’s race.
Their absence has resulted in a 2kg increase across the board with Zoutori now topweight with 57kg.
The weight is 1kg less than Zoutori carried to a first-up seventh in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 20.
Zoutori finished second with 56kg in last year’s Oakleigh Plate ahead of the Newmarket in which he carried 55kg to fourth behind Bivouac.
“We’re disappointed the others didn’t accept as he would have had 55 (kilos),” Zahra said.
“He looked the winner in the Oakleigh Plate but the weight probably got him and those horses at the lower end of the scale beat him.
“But he’s made good improvement and I think he’s going a little better than last preparation, but with that weight and looking what’s underneath him, he’s going to have to be better to get the job done.”
Zoutori is currently a +2000 chance with TAB in a market dominated by +115 favourite September Run.
Like the market, Zahra sees September Run as the one to topple.
“If September Run gets an uninterrupted run, she’s going to be hard to beat, it’s as simple as that,” Zahra said.
“Looking at her last run, and looking at her in the yard, she was going to make good improvement, so hopefully we’re close in the run and can get an uninterrupted passage.
“Luke Currie is riding terrific and he’s getting the job done on a lot of horses.”