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Nominations for the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) were taken yesterday, with 35 stayers declaring for the race.
Headlining the nominations is the Michael Kent-trained Epingle, who was seen just three days ago running second to Au Revoir in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown. It is very likely the seven-year-old mare will back-up just one week later in the 2014 Ballarat Cup.
Kent is “strongly considering” running Epingle in the $200,000 feature race at Ballarat after she pulled up very well from her Zipping Classic run.
He noted that the mare had already backed up within seven days last year after progressing from a fourth place finish in the Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m) to finish runner-up to Sertorius in the Zipping Classic, which worked out well.
“She pulled up fine and she’s had a very light spring,” Kent told TVN.
“I’ll have a look at the handicaps (released Tuesday), but it’s certainly something we’re strongly considering.”
Epingle was a consistent runner during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival but a win just eluded her. The mare just missed out on a placing in her first three consecutive runs, finishing fourth in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m), Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m), and Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m). She then travelled to Sandown for the final race day of the season but finished just a neck off winning the 2014 Zipping Classic, just like last year.
Her connections would love to end the year with a win, so a start in the 2014 Ballarat Cup is a strong possibility.
James McDonald rode Epingle in the Zipping and believed she was going to win the race after gaining a head advantage inside the final 100 metres. Au Revoir ended up being the tougher stayer however and prevailed. The hoop said Epingle simply ran “out of her skin”.
Perhaps the Ballarat Cup 2014, which is 200 metres less than the Zipping Classic, will be a better distance.
She’ll face some tough competition this Saturday for the Cup however, with Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) runner-up Pheidon, Mick Price’s Count Of Limonade, and Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) runner-up Massiyn all featuring among the nominations.
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