This Saturday the action of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival concludes with a final meeting at Betfair Park Sandown Hillside, the day headlined by the $350,000 Group 1 Sandown Classic (2400m).
The 2010 Sandown Classic has drawn a final field of eight exceptional gallopers, including sentimental favourite Zipping vying for an unprecedented fourth consecutive Sandown Classic victory.
The Robert Hickmott-trained Danehill nine-year-old, Zipping has won the past three editions of the Sandown Classic and will return for more glory on Saturday after enjoying a strong spring campaign.
Success on Saturday will see Zipping become just the fourth horse in history to win the same stakes race four or more years in a row along with Lord (Memsie Stakes 1958 – 1961), Manikato (William Reid Stakes 1979 – 1983) and Tie The Knot (Chipping Norton Stakes 1999 – 2002).
Zipping was the surprise winner of the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 3 before running a gallant second to So You Think in the Cox Plate and then ran fourth in the Melbourne Cup for the third time on November 2.
The much-loved veteran galloper has drawn ideally with barrier one for the Sandown Classic on Saturday and will be ridden by Nicholas Hall.
The jockey that rode Zipping to his two most recent Sandown Classic wins, Michael Rodd, will partner Bart Cummings’ classy mare Faint Perfume in Saturday’s showdown.
Former 3YO Filly of the Year, Faint Perfume has failed to perform this season but the daughter of Shamardal could return to form in the Sandown Classic after an ideal barrier two draw.
It is a tough field Zipping faces, one of the main threats coming from New Zealand galloper Ginga Dude.
Ginga Dude took out the Group 3 David Jones Cup on Caulfield Cup Day at their first Australian start before running an eye-catching third to So You Think in the Mackinnon Stakes on October 30, the seven-year-old sure to start high up the betting for Saturday.
British trainer Luca Cumani will run his five-year-old gelding Manighar in the Sandown Classic, seeking a Group victory in Australia after they finished fifth in the Caulfield Cup and then seventh in the Melbourne Cup last start.
Other notable Sandown Classic hopefuls include the Hawkes-trained Zabeel gelding Rainbow Styling and last year’s Sandown Guineas winner Kidnapped, the Peter Snowden-trained four-year-old having their final Australian run before heading overseas to be trained in Dubai.
The 2010 Patinack Farm Sandown Classic is scheduled as Race 7 at Sandown on Saturday, other highlights on the card including the $350,000 Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) and the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
Betting markets on all the features are due to open at Luxbet shortly, so get ready to get in on the action by joining this Tabcorp-owned bookmaker today!
2010 Sandown Classic Final Field, Barrier Draw & Weights
|1||ZIPPING||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||1||59|
|2||GINGA DUDE (NZ)||Graeme Boyd||Michael Walker||6||59|
|3||MANIGHAR (FR)||Luca Cumani||Damien Oliver||8||59|
|4||RAINBOW STYLING (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Luke Nolen||4||59|
|5||LA ROCKET||Dale Sutton||Nash Rawiller||3||59|
|6||KIDNAPPED||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||5||58|
|7||FAINT PERFUME||Bart Cummings||Michael Rodd||2||56|
|8||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Danny Nikolic||7||56|