Queenslanders ready to go in the McEwen Stakes

Image: Darren Winningham

It’s more than a little unusual to see a feature race in Melbourne with such a strong presence of Queenslanders, but that’s exactly what the Group 2 McEwen Stakes will serve up at Moonee Valley on Saturday, with Queensland stables fielding two of the seven runners. in the form of Zoustyle and Rothfire.

Multiple premiership-winning Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan has the superb seven-year-old gelding Zoustyle committed to McEwen, one of no fewer than six runners continuing in the race, and is very pleased with his George Moore Stakes winner.

“He’s doing really well. He’s come back great,” said Zoustyle’s Gollan, who was last seen in action when unplaced behind Maza in the Doomben 10000 on May 14.

“Because of what the weather has been like over the winter, we’ve stepped back from him and prepared him for this target race.

“He returned to his shining best in his trials.

“He looked around Moonee Valley on Tuesday. Obviously it was too wet for him… so it was just about going there for the experience.

“He is very fit and very well.

“He’s a real 1000m horse,” (the McEwen Stakes distance), Gollan continued. “He gets the 1200m at Doomben on those summer tracks but doesn’t run that well on the testing ground… so we’re really burying him now as an older horse where we can keep him at the 1000m and spread out his runs.

“It’s only a small pitch on Saturday but it’s obviously full of quality… and if he can do that we can think about Moir in two weeks’ time. )Moir Stakes is a $1 million race).

“I’m really happy where Zousstyle is at the moment. I’ve taken him to Melbourne once before and he’s definitely a much better horse this time.

“It is a bigger and stronger animal. He has settled in perfectly back at Flemington. He knows he was there.

“We need better weather by Saturday and the weekend will see a much better version of Zoustila than before.”

Zousstyle brings a proud record of nine wins from sixteen starts to the race and has won several times on both the good and soft levels.

He currently sits third in the betting at $6.50 behind hot favorite Coolangatta ($2.25) and Congo ($5.50).

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