Arrowfield & Star Slot Mazu Into Everest In Groundbreaking Deal

By Ray Hickson

In a first for the TAB Everest, rising star Mazu has been secured to run in the $15m sprint classic in both 2022 and 2023 by slot holders The Star and Arrowfield Stud.

Mazu’s trainers Peter (left) and Paul Snowden (Pic: Bradley Photos).

The outstanding three-year-old, who tackles weight-for-age for the first time in the Doomben 10,000 this weekend, is unbeaten since he was gelded with four wins in the autumn including a dominant win over Golden Rose winner In The Congo in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m).

Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden have climbed the mountain before, twice, with Redzel in 2017 and 2018 and Mazu has already been spoken about in similar terms with his on-pace style, wet track prowess and his emergence since being gelded.

“It’s a great result, we’re really excited about it,’’ Peter Snowden said.

“He’s earned it. He has the runs on the board so far.

“It’s good to know this early, we can lock in a program as to what we are going to do and really aim up at the race. I’m really rapt, we’re lucky to get another opportunity.

“They are good slot holders and it is a pleasure to be a part of it again.”

Arrowfield boss John Messara said the two-year deal gives Mazu’s owners and trainers the leeway needed to develop the horse over the next 18 months into the star sprinter he appears destined to be.

Such has been the impact of his winning streak, despite not meeting the likes of defending champ Nature Strip as yet, Mazu is $8 second favourite for the TAB Everest run at Randwick on October 16.

“While it’s generally a bit early to make a commitment for The Everest, I feel Mazu is a versatile young sprinter on a strong upward trajectory and we feared missing him by waiting any longer,’’ Messara said.

“It’s also an advantage that (Triple Crown’s) Chris and Michael Ward and Peter and Paul Snowden have already prepared Redzel to win two consecutive Everests, so they know exactly what is required.

“Securing Mazu now with a two-year commitment allows Triple Crown and the Snowdens to focus on managing him for maximum results across multiple campaigns.”

Snowden said following Saturday’s race at Eagle Farm, the slot deal will allow the stable to spell Mazu on their terms and work out the best path into the TAB Everest.

The traditional path commences with the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) on September 3, then the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) two weeks later and the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) on October 1.

“Hopefully he can continue to improve and get better and better as time goes by,’’ Snowden said.

“The two year deal, I think, is pretty smart because he’s going to be around for a while and he’s going to be better again when he’s four turning five.

“He’s only beaten his own age so far which is good but there is a bigger pool out there and Saturday will be a good test for him but the trip away will do him a world of good.”

Mazu is the third horse selected for the 2022 TAB Everest, joining last year’s quinella Nature Strip (Chris Waller Racing) and Masked Crusader (Max Whitby & Neil Werrett) in the race.