Zougotcha claims further Group 1 success

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It was a -trained quinella in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf (1600m) at on Saturday afternoon, with Zougotcha (+250) narrowly getting the better of stable companion Atishu (+270) in the shadows of the post.

It makes it back-to-back Group 1 successes for the daughter of Zoustar after claiming victory in the Group 1 (1500m) on March 16 at , ticking over her undefeated run to three wins on the trot this preparation.

The four-year-old was given an elite steer throughout by James McDonald, holding a position on the back of the leading pair, as Tropical Squall (+550) and Osmose (+5000) strode forward to set some strong early sectionals.

Atishu was dragged back to mid-field under Blake Shinn, bidding his time to aboard the battle hardened six-year-old mare; however, found himself crowded for room at a crucial stage when turning for home.

Semana (+1300) and Makarena (+1500) both mounted late challengers, but it was to no avail as the Waller duo sat down to it out, with Zougotcha scraping into the winners' enclosure by a nose on the wire.

Chris Waller spoke for the second time on Saturday after Joliestar saluted earlier on the Randwick program in the Group 2 3YO Sprint (1200m), and gave credit to teams placement this campaign.

“We just had to put her in the right races and she's gone bang, bang, bang. Tough mare,” said Waller.

“Zougotcha has done a good job. We gave her a decent break after she didn't come up in the spring. We didn't and we allowed her to be a racehorse.

“We gave her a proper break and she's won three-from-three this prep.”

James McDonald was happy to continue his associate with Zougotcha and the win assures him a third success in claiming the across the two days of .

“Very proud of this mare,” said McDonald.

“She's an absolute ripper. Barriers win races. She has drawn beautiful marbles all the way through.

“She executes perfectly. She tries really hard. A mile is probably a stretch at Randwick but her will to win is phenomenal.

“She's so willing. She's definitely the mare of the autumn. She did a really good job today.

“I thought I was running out of time (to win the Nathan Berry Medal) but it is very heartwarming to win it.”

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