2010 The Zoom Top Preview – Mantra Lad to Start as Favourite

A night packed full of fantastic racing action is about to go off this Saturday, February 13, at The Meadows as they kick off the Sky Channel Australian Cup Carnival.

Three thrilling Group races and the heats of the Australian Cup fill the fantastic race card, including the invitation only $30 000 Group 2 Macro Meats Zoom Top (725m).

An elite staying test, the 2010 Zoom Top has attracted one of the finest fields in years and features the likes of Mantra Lad, Next Top Model, Drill E’m and Jarvis Bale in his 16th black type start.

Already the clear favourite has emerged with the sensational Graeme Jose-trained Mantra Lad. Mantra Lad will jump from box three on Saturday and if he can recreate his blistering 42.28 personal best at this track, a good start will see the son of Pure Octane lead with his rivals chasing all the way.

Recent winner of the Group 1 Association Cup, he is also one of the highest earning dogs of all time having amassed $452 665 in prizemoney over his 54 race starts to date. Definitely the one to beat in the Zoom Top, Mantra Lad looks well positioned to claim his eighth consecutive victory.

But if one runner can cause an upset to Mantra Lad’s sensational winning streak it is the rival starting on the outside of the top elect, Next Top Model. Trained by Jason Thompson, the brindle bitch has definitely got a promising staying career in front of her and is aiming for her maiden Group 1 win in the Zoom Top.

On Saturday the daughter of Surf Lorian has her first start at The Gardens and the impressive Group 2 Maidment Memorial winner is sure to give Mantra Lad a good challenge.

David Knocker’s Drill ‘Em in box seven also stands a strong chance to place if not cause an upset win here. The in-form and ever consistent son of Texas Gold has had solid recent form including a six race winning streak late last year, but he does prefer the inside boxes and has only won one of his 12 victories wearing the black.

The Robert Britton-trained Melandri has secured the prized box one, which definitely gives this quality stayer a chance to show how good he is at this track and distance despite being lightly raced of late.

Starting on the outside in box eight is another in-form dog Satanic Cash who has won four of their past five starts including an emphatic 11 ½ length victory last start at Angle Park. Despite their speed, consistency and staying ability Satanic Cash will have to fight hard to keep up with the calibre of rivals he faces on Saturday.

Smokin’ Ichiban has been scratched from the event and taking his place in box five is first reserve, the Andrea-Dailly trained Headley Bale who looks outclassed here.

The Group 2 Zoom Top is scheduled as race six on the night’s cracker 11-race programme and is due to jump at 8:45pm (VIC time).

2010 Zoom Top Final Field & Box Draw:

Box Form Dog Trainer B/T
1 13125 MELANDRI Robert Britton 42.01
2 5F111 SMART CHOICE Robert Giltinan
3 11111 MANTRA LAD Graeme Jose 42.28
4 21312 NEXT TOP MODEL Jason Thompson
5 75575 HEADLEY BALE Andrea Dailly 42.84
6 22715 JARVIS BALE Graeme Bate
7 13442 DRILL ‘EM David Knocker 42.41
8 11121 SATANIC CASH Robert Isaacson