Zalatte sets autumn marker

Zalatte’s triumphant initiation to Saturday racing at Rosehill induced comparisons to a high-profile stablemate.

The Chris Waller-trained Zalatte ($4) sprouted wings over the final 100m to overtake the highly rated Baller ($3.10 fav) in the 2019 Membership Benchmark 76 Handicap (1400m) and score by a length.

It was a performance that evoked memories of when Ford steered Unforgotten to a similar swooping win at the same venue around this time last year.

In the 12 months since then, Unforgotten has established herself as one of the top females in the country, courtesy of wins in the Group I Australian Oaks (2400m) and Group II Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).

“It’s uncanny, they’re very similar,” Ford said.

“She’s got a devastating turn of foot. From the furlong I knew I was going to get there.”

Adding more merit to Zalatte’s win was the fact that she wasn’t even supposed to be running in Saturday’s race.

“It wasn’t the plan to go straight to a Saturday race off a maiden win,” stable racing manager Charlie Duckworth.

“She was going to run on Wednesday in the mile race but it got cancelled due to a lack of nominations which we thought was a bit rough considering they got eight initial noms and didn’t even take extended noms.

“We didn’t want to be taking on such proven horses at only her second start, but she’s done what she’s promised at home.

“I’d imagine she will follow in the footsteps of Unforgotten now and be freshened-up for the autumn.”

Duckworth reported that Unforgotten is currently in pre-training as she builds towards next year’s autumn carnival. –