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Two Sandown Cup 2015-bound stayers put in strong trials at Flemington on Tuesday morning with Tremec and Maygrove both working well ahead of the testing two mile feature on Zipping Classic Day this weekend.
A total of 22 gallopers make up the nominations for the capacity 16-starter, 4-emergency field for Saturday’s $150,000 Listed Sandown Cup (3200m).
Two of the 54kg lightweights in the mix for the quality handicap clash were put through their paces on the Flemington steeple grass this morning in preparation for their weekend assignments.
John Thompson’s Zabeel seven-year-old Tremec worked solo over 2000m clocking 2:22.23 including a speedy 600m sectional time of 37.66 and the final 200m completed in 11.21 seconds.
A winner of over half-a-million in prizemoney over his 37 start career so far, Tremec hasn’t been first past the post since early April in Sydney winning the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) on a Heavy-rated Randwick track.
He was unplaced in five subsequent starts before a third last start behind fellow Sandown Cup nominee De Little Engine in the J.B. Cummings AM Tribute Plate (2800m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
In an improved run, Tremec relished the step up in distance that Tuesday at Flemington and was beaten under a length carrying 57.5kg.
The drop back to 54kg and step up to the two miles on the weekend makes him a definite Sandown Cup hope, a statement solidified by the strong gallop this morning.
Representing the in-form Cambridge horseman from New Zealand Murray Baker, Maygrove will be out on the weekend to keep the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival success for the stable going.
Baker won the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) with Mongolian Khan last mount, before missing out on a Melbourne Cup runner when the four-year-old suffered a campaign-ending bout of colic.
Things quickly picked up again however with fellow four-year-old Kiwi raider Turn Me Loose winning three on the trot including last weekend’s Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Five-year-old Authorized gelding Maygrove meanwhile has won fourth in his past three Victorian runs heading into his maiden 3200m run at Sandown on Saturday.
The first was behind the subsequently injured and retired Let’s Make Adeal in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m), before a fourth to Almoonqith in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Almoonqith is a Sandown Cup entry also nominated for the meeting’s Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m), the Geelong Cup winning out to atone for an 18th in the Melbourne Cup on November 3.
Maygrove was last seen running fourth only a length off the Gai Waterhouse-trained 2014 Sydney Cup winner The Offer in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) on October 28.
The Bendigo success saw The Offer back-up in the ‘race that stops a nation’ and on Saturday the Montjeu seven-year-old will carrying the 60kg top weight if accepted for the Sandown Cup field.
On the grass at Flemington this morning Maygrove galloped one-out over 2000m in 2:19.40, nearly three seconds quicker than Tremec, with a final 400m sectional time of 24.59 seconds.
The Sandown Cup field and barriers are out on Wednesday so make sure you stay tuned.
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