Spearing the lids from box three, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and champion stayer Fallen Zorro (Lilli Pilli Lad – Chinatown Babe) surprised plenty when she led most of the way to the post the first time.
Race favourite Dyna Kayla (8) also began well but could not quite cross Born Ali (7) and fell victim to interference, which cost her early.
Eventually the sheer early speed of expected leader Benarkin (4) allowed him to take over with Cheetah Zorro parked in second as they headed to the back.
Benarkin opened up a break of around five lengths down the back with Cheetah Zorro and Dyna Kayla the margin abbreviators and looking the only dangers to the leader.
Half-way down the home straight, the superior strength of Cheetah Zorro told as she overhauled the tiring Benarkin to take the race by 2 1/4 lengths in the time of 42.90. Dyna Kayla claimed second place right on the line from Benarkin who finished third.
Trainer Rob Britton, who had three starters in the event, commented straight after the race that the win was a bit of a surprise.
“I gave her the least chance out of all three of them, but it shows how much it helps to be on the pace.”
The win also accompanies Britton’s Group One Perth Galaxy win with Born Ali last week, but he says he certainly isn’t taking it for granted.
“I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, because you know that sometimes it can be years between group wins.”
Of the beaten brigade, Dyna Willow (1) was handy early but looked to strike the running rail as they left the straight the first time when Dyna Kayla crossed her. Maddison Dee (2) was away only fairly and also looked to brush the running rail in the same area. She did find a little bit at the end but it was not the same sort of form she showed in Perth last week.
Lucy Wires (5) began slowly and really only ran on in the last hundred metres to finish fifth. Veteran Destini Fireball (6) put in a dour, one-paced effort to finish fourth, where he raced for most of the event. Born Ali (7) copped the worst of the early interference which saw her forced right back to seventh after jumping third. She was unable to recover and finished last.
If there was a hard-luck story, it may have been Dyna Kayla, who ran a gallant race despite finding trouble. She may well develop into a top quality stayer further down the track.
The win was Cheetah Zorro’s second career Group One Victory after she took out the Bold Trease in 2013. It was her 16th win from 64 starts and takes her career prize-money to just under $225,000.