It is a tough ask for a horse to back up from a testing Melbourne Cup run but on Saturday Mourayan will do just that and jump the favourite in the 2012 Zipping Classic at Sandown Hillside.
The Robert Hickmott-trained seven-year-old has enjoyed another impressive season posting a Group 3 win in the Craven Plate (2000m) back in Sydney before their seventh when beaten five lengths last start in the iconic Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
While the Melbourne Cup run would have taken a lot out of the Alhaarth stallion Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams will give Mourayan one more run for the spring in this weekend’s $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Drawn on the rails in barrier one with their regular rider Hugh Bowman aboard Mourayan is the current favourite in the Zipping Classic odds paying $2.60.
Mourayan has twice run at Sandown for two third place finishes, the first being behind Macedonain in the Sandown Cup over the two miles this time two years ago while the other was their brave run behind 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain in the Zipping Classic 12 months ago.
Named in honour of their former star stablemate Zipping who won the then-named Sandown Classic for four straight years (2007-10), the Zipping Classic would be a nice notch in Mourayan’s belt before they head to the paddock.
Mourayan will be joined in the 2012 Zipping Classic field by the fellow Williams-owned Tanby ($8), Williams after his sixth win in the race in the past decade having also owned 2003 winner Legible.
Bowman, aboard Mourayan for their three most recent runs as well as their Zipping Classic third last year, is confident the horse has come through the Melbourne Cup well and is the one to beat on Saturday.
“Mourayan is a good, honest horse and was beaten less than a length behind Americain in this race last year,” Bowman said.
“It was only a small field but it was a quality race last year.
“His run in the Melbourne Cup was good. He ran as well as he could.
“He would maybe have been better suited with a bit more give in the track and with a stronger pace, but that would have brought a lot of others into play as well.”
The other top two chances in the Zipping Classic field and betting markets are then early market mover Rawnaq ($5) who ran a brave third in the Victoria Derby last time out, and Exceptionally ($6) who has run four top three finishes at their past five runs.
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