Zaaki retires from racing after $11 million prize money winning career

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
30/03/2024
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Zaaki will enjoy retirement as a “happy, healthy horse” say his trainers

One of Australia’s most well-known race horses has retired this week. Famed horse trainers Annabel Neasham Racing have announced that nine-year old thoroughbred Zaaki has retired from racing. Zaaki is a four-time Group One race winner and earned over $11 million in prize money throughout his prestigiou

News Insights

  • “It’s a bittersweet day to be retiring our superstar in Zaaki,” his trainer Annabel Neasham said.
  • Zaaki is a four-time Group One race winner.
  • Zaaki earned over $11 million in prize money over his long career.

Zaaki retires from racing 

On Friday morning, Zaaki’s trainers, Annabel Neasham Racing, released a six-and-a-half minute long video announcing the retirement of Zaaki.  
 
It’s a bittersweet day to be retiring our superstar in Zaaki,” Annabel Neasham said to start the video. “As a young trainer setting out, who would’ve thought I’d come across a horse like Zaaki from day one. I owe a huge amount of our success to him. He helped put my name on the map” she added.  
 
Zaaki, bred in Great Britain, but most-recently trained in Australia, burst onto the scene in 2019 with three successive Group 3 race wins at the  Strensall Stakes at York, the Diomed Stakes at Epsom and the Paradise Stakes at Ascot. 
 
In 2021, he was sold to Carl Holt and moved to Australia, where he later went on to become one of the most successful horses in recent Australian horse racing history.

Zaaki’s achievements

Zaaki is a four-time Group One race winner. His wins came at the Doomben Cup in Brisbane, Underwood Stakes at the Caulfield Racecourse, and twice in the Mackinnon Stakes at  Flemington.  
 
The thoroughbred’s crowning achievement came in 2022 at Flemington in the All-Star Mile. Zaaki won that race, ridden by jockey Jamie Kah, to win a $5.4 million prize. In total, Zaaki has earned over $11 million in prize money over his long career. 
 
I don’t think I’ll ever have another horse like him,” Annabel Neasham said. “He’s unique. He’s so special, and he was still racing at the top level all the way to the end,” she said, referencing Zaaki’s dominant All-Star Mile win in 2022.  
 
Zaaki’s owner, Carl Holt, described his retirement as “the end of an era.”  
 
He’s fought every fight, danced every dance. He’s raced against the best, he’s beaten the best, and he is the best,” Holt said.  

Happy, healthy horse in retirement 

Zaaki will end his career and see out his days as a “happy, healthy horse,” according to his trainer Annabel Neasham. 
 
Zaaki will see out his days with Annabel Neasham. “He’s probably the best horse I’ve ever laid hands on and probably will ever lay hands on,” Annabel Neasham veterinarian Rulth Melbourne said about being able to look after Zaaki.