Darren Weir’s in-form five-year-old Prince Of Penzance will be on a seven day turnaround when he runs as one of the top chances in a small but classy field in the Zipping Classic 2014 at Sandown Racecourse this weekend.
The Pentire gelding is one of just nine stayers accepted for this year’s $350,000 Group 2 Deadly Design Zipping Classic (2400m), the weight-for-age showdown running as Sandown Race 5 at 3:25pm (AEDT).
Drawn well in barrier four he will be ridden by Michelle Payne who takes over for Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Bowman rode the horse last Saturday at Flemington in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) where he narrowly missed out on the $100,000 Melbourne Cup ballot bonus when half a length away second to Le Roi in the Emirates Stakes Day showdown.
Before that Payne had the reins on Cox Plate Day when Prince Of Penzance enjoyed a good win over his subsequent Queen Elizabeth conqueror in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).
While he’s only backed-up once before, the horse is a good chance to handle Saturday’s assignment according to the Ballarat-based Weir.
There are then two stables dually represented in this year’s Zipping Classic field including trainer Robert Hickmott representing Lloyd Williams’s Macedon Lodge operation.
Williams is a six-time winner of the race having first saluted with Legible (2003) before his champion four-time winner Zipping (2007-10), who the event formerly known as the Sandown Classic is now named in honour, and then Tanby (2012).
This year he opted not to accept for his Cox Plate runner-up Fawkner who has been sent to the paddock instead but he will saddle-up Green Moon and Sea Moon from barriers two and five respectively.
Winner of the 2012 Melbourne Cup, Montjeu eight-year-old Green Moon was last seen running a credible ninth beaten only 2.65 lengths by Admire Rakti before a cracked hoof ruled him out of another shot at the world’s richest handicap on November 4.
He’s back now with Steven Arnold, the horse looking for a consolation win here.
Far more disappointing in the Caulfield Cup on October 18 meanwhile was stable mate Sea Moon who failed to beat home any other runner crossing nine lengths away 18th, the Beat Hollow seven-year-old now after his first win since the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) over 12 months ago.
Also with two Zipping Classic runners are co-trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig represented by Spillway (barrier one) and Rawnaq (barrier six).
Rail Link five-year-old Spillway was last seen racing on Derby Day when a brave fourth behind Happy Trails in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), the step up to 2400m to be his fifth look at a distance he’s yet to finish better than third over.
Rawnaq meanwhile won over 2000m two back at Caulfield before a seventh at Flemington over the same distance last weekend, neither in black-type company, so is likely to be an outside chance in the Zipping Classic.
Other notable hopes meanwhile include Andre Fabre’s OTI-owned French raider Au Revoir coming off an eighth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) from November 4 and Michael Kent’s consistent staying mare Epingle who ran fourth to Prince Of Penzance on October 25 – the duo drawn in the two outside barriers.
2012 Adelaide Cup winner Rialya and the Mick Price-trained Count Of Limonade, coming off a fifth in the Bendigo Cup over the mile and a half from October 29, then round out this year’s Zipping Classic line-up.
See below for the full 2014 Zipping Classic field, barriers and jockeys.
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2014 Zipping Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 5 (3:25pm) – 15/11/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||90x427x609||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Steven Arnold||2||59kg||110|
|2||00210x8x50||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||5||59kg||104|
|4||142×878212||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||4||59kg||104|
|5||14x426x438||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Andre Fabre||Kerrin McEvoy||8||59kg||103|
|6||x781x24794||SPILLWAY (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||1||59kg||103|
|7||x80630x517||RAWNAQ||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||6||59kg||81|
|8||21x67x0615||COUNT OF LIMONADE (IRE)||Mick Price||Glen Boss||3||59kg||98|
|9||631135×444||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||James McDonald||9||57kg||102|