Owner Lloyd Williams has two chances to secure a seventh Zipping Classic win this weekend with his best hope being the on-the-improve former Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon.
Williams and trainer Robert Hickmott withdrew their ‘sure-thing’ shot in this year’s $350,000 Group 2 Deadly Design Zipping Classic (2400m) with last year’s Caulfield Cup champ Fawkner sent to the paddock instead.
That left two for Macedon Lodge in the nine-horse Zipping Classic field, a race named in honour of Williams’ four-time hero Zipping who won every edition from 2007 to 2010 when it was known as the Sandown Classic.
The stable’s other two Zipping Classic winners were Legible (2003) and most recently Tanby (2012).
The Zipping Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au for this Saturday’s edition of the weight-for-age Sandown showdown are currently led by the Darren Weir-trained Prince Of Penzance ($3.50) who comes off a second to Le Roi in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) from last weekend.
Early Zipping Classic betting market mover meanwhile backed right in from $6 to $4.80 is then 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon.
He’s notably shorter in the markets than stable mate and Williams’ other hope Sea Moon who pays $13 to atone for some pretty average lead-up form.
Both stayers missed out on a run in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) back on November 4 having been withdrawn due to various setbacks.
Montjeu eight-year-old Green Moon suffered a cracked hook in the lead-up while Beat Hollow seven-year-old Sea Moon had a virus.
The pair then had their final starts in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 won by the ill-fated Admire Rakti.
Green Moon ran ninth beaten 2.65 lengths in that mile and a half classic while Sea Moon was the flop of the race finishing dead last (18th) over nine lengths off the Japanese-trained winner.
Williams is confident that Green Moon, who will be ridden by Steven Arnold, has improved since then and will be firing on all cylinders in Saturday’s Zipping Classic where he looks to win for the first time since his Melbourne Cup success over two years ago.
“He was beaten only 2.7 lengths (in the Caulfield Cup) and he had improvement to come,” he told the Herald Sun.
The master owner and businessman isn’t also completely writing off Sea Moon, to be ridden by his godson Nicholas Hall, whose latest win was back in last year’s Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) over 12 months ago.
He’s willing to forgive the horse the Caulfield Cup run based on a post-race report from Arnold and knows the classy galloper is capable of better.
“Steve Arnold said he was travelling quite nicely (in the run) until he dropped out but we’ve since found out he’s had a crook back,” Williams explained.
To get behind the Williams’ factor to come good again in this year’s Zipping Classic result head to Ladbrokes.com.au and get behind his two runners online at the guaranteed best odds!