A field of only five runners contested the weight-for-age feature, and it turned into a sit and sprint with No Effort setting a slow pace in the early and middle stages.
For those who took the short odds on Zaaki ($ 1.26), there were concerns from around 600m where Homesman made the first move while the hot-pot did hard work with it under Craig Williams.
There was a line of four across the 200m course, with only No Effort out of contention before being left to Probabeel ($ 8) and Nonconformist ($ 17) to battle for goals.
Kiwi mare Probabeel got her nose down when it counted on collecting the fourth Group One victory of her career.
PROBABLES FROM ZAAKI IN GROUP 1 POWER AND POWER SETTINGS … pic.twitter.com/naomjd1rA1
– 7HorseRacing ? (@ 7horseracing) October 9, 2021
The result continued her love affair with Caulfield, making it four wins from five starts on the field.
As for Zaaki, he remains the clear favorite for Cox Plate (for now), but has had his price beaten from $ 1.80 to $ 2.50 (TAB) after the shock defeat, finishing 1.85L from the winner in third place.
While Mudd And Muddle’s pace made it a messy affair, punters may now have doubts about Zaaki heading into the Cox Plate after his five-game winning streak came to a surprising end.
Williams, however, said he was not too worried about the future with Zaaki.
“We did not win this battle, but the war is not over,” Williams said.
“The positive thing about the race is that he still has improvements in him. He was a little fresh and eager in the first half of the race when they set the pace.”
Meanwhile, Probabeel has joined Verry Elleegant on the second line of betting on Cox Plate at $ 8, starting at $ 26.
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