BIG WIN: Chilli Zaim flashed late at huge odds to win his last start at Grafton.
BIG WIN: Chilli Zaim flashed late at huge odds to win his last start at Grafton.

Zaim win still giving bookies chills

BOOKMAKERS will be a little more cautious tomorrow when setting the odds for Chilli Zaim.

On Grafton Cup Day the Za-Im gelding scored a win few predicted, let alone the bookies who had him at 150-1.

Coffs Harbour trainer Joanne Hardy admits she didn't get a piece of the juicy odds that were on offer.

"I didn't have a cent on him. Don't bet," Hardy said after the race.

Riding the five-year-old tomorrow will be Japanese apprentice Miki Nakao, the same hoop who rode who they call "Chilli" around the stable to victory last start.

Hardy said Nakao has only had the two rides for her but she's already a big fan of her work.

"She doesn't do much wrong," Hardy said of the apprentice.

"I've been pleased with all of her rides for me so far.

"I've watched her ride for other trainers in races and she's been pretty good.

"She rode really well on Chilli last time and I wanted to reward her for that with another ride."

One big advantage Nakao brings is her three kilogram claim.

"That means we're going to come in with 51 kilos so we're going to get away with a having a light weight," the trainer said.

"A few up the top have got a bit of form but the light weight will be an advantage."

No matter what the result tomorrow, Hardy believes Chilli Zaim will be part of her stable for a long time to come.

"He's my five-year-old daughter's favourite," she said.

"At school she's got photos of him all over her folders and when she was learning to write, Chilli was the first word she learned."

A really quiet horse who's always keen to greet the family at the gate when he's on the home property, Chilli Zaim lets the kids take a seat on him and doesn't bat an eyelid.

"He's probably the stable favourite," Hardy admitted.

Hardy has two other starters tomorrow. She'll be saddling up Dorawin in the opening race of the day and Collaboration, the top weight in the Sawtell Cup.

First-up after a spell Collaboration finished last in the Maclean Cup over 1400 metres.

Tomorrow's race is a jump in distance for the six year-old but Hardy believes the gelding is looking for further.

"It's nice this time of year that there's country cups around the 1400 to 1600 range to race in and he'll benefit from the run but obviously he'll be better when he gets up to 2000 metres," she said.

Hardy said Collaboration's next run will probably be the Ken Howard Showcase Cup to be run on the Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup Day on August 3. 

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