Zoutori hadn’t won since the same race last year but his love for the Flemington straight came to the fore as he burst through late in a blanket finish to score back-to-back wins in the Group Two Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington.
Punters didn’t know which way to look as the first five past the post finished within half a length in the 1200m dash.
But Zoutori’s reputation as a straight-track specialist was reinforced when he got the chocolates, even though the slender winning margin was nothing like when he thumped his rivals by two lengths in the same race last year.
Mark Zahra drove his charge home to out-bob Banquo with The Everest hopeful Tofane running well enough first-up to finish third.
But to the winner go the spoils and Zoutori’s sharp finishing burst impressed the TAB enough for them to slash his odds for both the Moir and Manikato Stakes from $26 to $15 and for the VRC Sprint Classic from $51 to $26.
Zoutori’s co-trainer Mathew Ellerton didn’t quite know where the son of Zoustar would head in the spring but paid tribute to his skill down the Flemington straight.
“He left it until late and probably wasn’t as dominant as last year, but he got the job and it was fantastic,” Ellerton said.
“If you’ve got a good straight horse who is particularly good fresh, it’s a big advantage.
“I was saying to Mark (Zahra) before the race that the horse is going well but not flying.”
Tofane’s trainer Mike Moroney was happy enough with the first-up effort of his mare.
“Oli (Damien Oliver) said that he didn’t have any excuses, he got a good enough run,” Moroney said. “They really ran home the last 600 (metres) very, very fast.
“He just wondered if it was a bit more truly run throughout that he might’ve gone a bit better.”
Originally published asZoutori goes back-to-back in Bobbie Lewis
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