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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Image: Bradley Photos

THURSDAY: September 21, 2023: HAWKESBURY co-trainer Tara Vigouroux has been saying for the last couple of days that Zouologist “had a sparkle in his eye”.

“He has been really well and a happy horse,” Vigouroux said this evening.

“Being only his second run back from a break, I thought he had a place chance and then when I had a good look at the form, I felt he could run a cheeky race with a light weight (53.5kg) after apprentice Julie Presits’ 3kg allowance.”

Zouologist ($12) did more than run a cheeky race in the Altos Margarita RTD Conditional Open Handicap (1300m) at his local track today.

He made the running and wouldn’t surrender in the straight, leading home a Hawkesbury quinella from Blake Ryan’s Momack ($5), who carried 5.5kg more.

The $2.40 favorite Capital Asset had every chance in finishing third.

Vigouroux and her husband and co-trainer Phil have done a terrific job with the now eight-year-old gelding, who began his career with Chris Waller, and had 10 starts for Sydney’s champion trainer for a Warwick Farm Maiden victory in April 2019 and five city placings.

“We were able to lease him from Bylong Park’s Richard Johnson, who of course races the comeback champ Think It Over,” Tara Vigouroux explained.

“Both Think It Over and Zouologist are the same age and were paddock mates in their younger days.

“Whilst Zouologist hasn’t reached the same heights as Think It Over (whose Royal Randwick triumph last Saturday took his earnings past $7.76m), he has been a terrific horse for our stable.

“He has won five races since we got him, and has also been placed 15 times.

“It’s such a pleasure to have horses like Zouologist around the stable for many years, and continue to be competitive.

“In fact, he has been here so long that we recently overlooked renewing the lease, which we had never done before, and thankfully everything was quickly sorted out.

“We probably thought he might be more of a country horse this preparation, but found a really nice race for him at the provincials at home today, and he had a light weight and loves to lead.”

Even though he raced keenly in the early and middle stages, Zouologist’s 53.5kg was a telling factor in the closing stages as he held out his Hawkesbury rival Momack (59kg) to mark his 50th career start with a win.

. The gelding’s victory no doubt proved a fillip for Tara Vigouroux’s father and part lessee, former Hawkesbury Race Club chairman and life member Ken Quigley, who is hospitalised at present and undergoing various tests.

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