John Petersen’s well-bred mare Zippy Lou is ready to back up from her last-start Doomben win with another victorious run in a Queensland winter feature when she lines up in the $100,000 Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
The four-year-old daughter of Street Cry resumed from an 11 week break with an eye-catching one length win in the Bolinger Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 1, earning her a shot at black-type glory on Ipswich Cup Day.
“It was a brilliant win first-up,” Petersen said.
“I was pretty confident.
“The only thing is I thought the last 50 metres she might just start to wilt a bit.
“She beat them pretty easy last start.
“She had to make two runs, she had to be used up early and then again at the end.”
Zippy Lou will be lining up for just her 13th career start when she runs in the Gai Waterhouse Classic, the mare boasting a consistent record of seven victories and three minor placings to date.
A strong performance in Saturday’s feature and Petersen will be pressing onto the season’s final Group 1 race at Eagle Farm the following week, entering Zippy Lou for the $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) – formerly known as the Winter Stakes.
“She is going to the Gai Waterhouse Classic this Saturday and if she wins and pulls up well she is going to back up and run in the Winter Stakes,” Petersen confirmed.
After winning her opening three race starts on the trot at Doomben and the Gold Coast in June of last year, Zippy Lou has also previously performed at Listed level when running third to Cariad in the Nudgee Quality (1200m) at Doomben in January.
Her dominant record around the Queensland tracks and nice last-start win have seen Zippy Lou installed as the clear favourite for the Gai Waterhouse Classic showdown this weekend despite her less than ideal barrier 10 of 17 draw.
Top hoop Jason Taylor is engaged for the ride on Zippy Lou, her biggest dangers likely to come from Michael Moroney’s lightly-weighted contender Born To Rock (barrier eight) and the Peter Snowden-trained 58kg top-weight Jerezana whose jockey Larry Cassidy will get the inside running from gate one.
“I think only bad luck will beat her,” Petersen said of Zippy Lou’s chances in the Gai Waterhouse.
“She has come back, she has improved a bit and she is only trying to beat the kind of horses you would run into in an open field on a normal Saturday, not Carnival time.”
If Zippy Lou does continue on to the Tattersall’s Tiara it would see her step up to elite company for the first time and face a tough challenge facing the likes of Snowden’s Doomben 10,000 winner Beaded at weight-for-age.
“Later on we’ll see if she can go up to 2000 metres,” Petersen talking of future plans for Zippy Lou heading towards the spring.
“If she wins on Saturday where I think only bad luck will beat her it will be hard to do that this campaign.
“If she won on Saturday and ran a good race in the Winter Stakes she would probably have to have a few weeks off and then get ready for the spring down in Melbourne and look at the Myer Classic.”
The $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) will run at Victoria’s famous Flemington Racecourse on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday October 29, 2011 as part of the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival.