Quality Zoustar mare Kiku might be in for her best ever preparation at age five, powering home to score a last stride win in the Group II ATC Theo Marks stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained mare had some residual fitness having last been seen finishing fifth in the Group I Tatts Tiara in June and she produced a sharp turn of foot for Jason Collett to nab Snitzel stallion Mr Mozart on the line.
— SKY Racing (@SkyRacingAU) September 10, 2022
“No surprise, but we knew we needed luck from the draw and luck includes pace in a race,” Chris Waller said.
“There was good speed on, she got out in clear air and came with a well-timed run.
“She’s a decent horse. Barrier draws have been against her all her life really since announcing herself back in the autumn two years ago.
“It has been a long time coming to win a race like this, but we’ve always thought she’s had the ability.”
A $300,000 Magic Millions purchase for Star Thoroughbreds from the Amarina Farm draft, Kiku has the overall record of six wins and nine placings from 22 starts with prizemoney getting very close to $1million.
Kiku won the Group III ATC Carbine Club Stakes over 1600m as a 3YO, so is effective over the Randwick mile and the Group I ATC Epsom Handicap in October is on the agenda.
“She’s nominated for it. We thought enough of her to run her in the Doncaster back in the autumn, but just struggled on the very wet ground,” Waller said.
“Hopefully we can get some good weather in Sydney in the next few weeks and she’ll be there.”
Kiku was bred by Frank Meduri and is a full sister to Group I VRC Newmarket Handicap winner Zoutori and half-sister to stakes-placed Kamitori being from Atotori, a half-sister by Haradasun to Group III winner Castlethorpe from an international family that includes Epsom Derby winner and sire New Approach.
Atotori sadly died in 2020 and has left three Black Type performers from just four foals.