Zougotcha delivered a captivating performance to claim victory in the 2024 Coolmore Classic  at Rosehill Gardens.

Coolmore Classic 2024 winner Zougotcha

Zougotcha dove late to get there right on the line as favourite in the 2024 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Chris Waller-trained mare displayed immense heart and determination, surging past rivals in the final stretch to secure a narrow but impressive Group 1 win.

This victory marks a significant milestone for both horse and trainer.

It’s Zougotcha’s second Group 1 triumph, adding to her Flight Stakes win as a three-year-old filly in 2022.

For Waller, it’s his 157th Group 1 victory, further solidifying his position as a racing powerhouse.

Jockey James McDonald also achieved a personal milestone, reaching 90 elite-level wins with his perfectly timed ride aboard Zougotcha.

Heavily favoured at her home track of Rosehill, Zougotcha came off a strong showing in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes last month.

Living up to expectations, she dominated the feature race, replicating her success in last year’s Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes victory over the colts at the same meeting.

Carrying the top weight of the race (57kg), Zougotcha showcased her class by relentlessly chasing down the frontrunning filly, Tropical Squall.

Waller commended her performance, stating, “She was brilliant first-up and she carried the top weight in a good field today and beat them.”

While Tropical Squall, fresh off her Surround Stakes win, led the race initially, Zougotcha, ridden by McDonald, patiently waited for her moment.

Once in the clear, she unleashed a powerful finishing kick, surging past Tropical Squall (4th in the finish) in the final 100 meters to claim victory by a neck.

Ciaron Maher‘s Semana presented a late challenge from the outside, nearly handing Maher a second interstate feature win for the day after Pride Of Jenni’s All-Star Mile victory earlier in Caulfield.

Ultimately, however, Zougotcha proved too strong saluting by a neck.

The Gary Portelli-trained Kimochi finished a close third, completing the Coolmore Classic trifecta.

Looking forward, Waller contemplates either the Group 1 $4 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 6 or the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) the following Saturday as Zougotcha’s next challenge.

The final decision will depend on the weight she receives in the Doncaster handicap.

Currently, Zougotcha sits at $11 in pre-field Doncaster Mile betting at Ladbrokes.

2024 Coolmore Classic Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 1 ZOUGOTCHA Chris Waller James McDonald 2 57kg $3.30F
2 3 SEMANA Ciaron Maher Dylan Gibbons (a) 0.31L 11 55.5kg $12
3 17 KIMOCHI Gary Portelli Zac Lloyd (a) 0.38L 14 50.5kg $11
4 6 TROPICAL SQUALL Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 0.57L 17 54.5kg $8.50
5 5 HINGED Chris Waller Tommy Berry 0.65L 15 55kg $14
6 16 JENNILALA Ciaron Maher Craig Newitt 1.97L 4 51kg $10
7 10 RENAISSANCE WOMAN (NZ) Bjorn Baker Ms Rachel King 2.06L 5 54.5kg $31
8 8 FOXY FRIDA Andrew Noblet Billy Egan 3.16L 12 54.5kg $31
9 4 VIENNA PRINCESS Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 3.65L 8 55.5kg $12
10 11 YONCE (NZ) Ciaron Maher John Allen 3.89L 1 54kg $16
11 2 REVOLUTIONARY MISS Peter & Paul Snowden Michael Dee 4.22L 13 55.5kg $16
12 13 HELL HATH NO FURY Annabel Neasham Tyler Schiller 4.42L 3 52kg $41
13 18 BARBY’S DOLL Jerome Hunter Reece Jones 4.91L 7 50kg (cd 51kg) $151
14 7 DENY KNOWLEDGE (IRE) Michael Kent Tom Sherry 5.14L 9 54.5kg $41
15 14 MORE SECRETS Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Jay Ford 5.44L 6 51.5kg $26
16 12 BARBIE’S FOX Ben, Will & JD Hayes Matthew Cartwright 5.46L 10 53kg $51
17 9 MADAME POMMERY Chris Waller Jason Collett 6.25L 16 54.5kg $26
15 AUSBRED FLIRT Brad Widdup Ms Alysha Collett 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.