English horse Lord Van Percy missed the chance to qualify for the 2014 Melbourne Cup after a late scratching from the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m), but the four-year-old is over his recent setbacks and ready to press on in the 2014 Zipping Classic at Sandown this Saturday, the final day of the spring carnival.
The Andrew Balding-trained stayer was one of 11 horses who needed to win the 2014 Lexus Stakes to earn a place among the final 24 horses for the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), but a late scratching due to lameness in his off foreleg meant the gelding was out of contention.
Simon O’Donnell of OTI Racing said Lord Van Percy had recovered from his lameness and was on target for a run at Sandown.
Lord Van Percy has the option of running in either the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) or the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) on Saturday; the former has the better prize-money while the latter is over the better distance.
A start in the Zipping Classic is more likely for the OTI part-owned horse, with international options to be determined after the race.
“It is something we have to still work out,” O’Donnell told Sky Racing.
“It looks like we will run him in the mile-and-a-half race (Zipping Classic) next Saturday and work out what to do after that.
“Andrew has indicated he would like to take him back with him and take him to Dubai and that is something we will have a think about.”
The gelding’s only start in Australia so far has been the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) in which he finished fifth. Balding is keen to take Lord Van Percy back to Europe as well as target the Group 1 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) in March.
Zipping Classic Day at Sandown this Saturday marks the final race day of the 2014 spring racing carnival. Nominations for the nine races are due to be released shortly, so keep checking back at Races.com.au.
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