The Zipping Classic 2016 at the tail-end of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is shaping up as a nice target for Michael Kent’s lightly-raced stallion Charlevoix.
A now four-year-old son of New Approach, the Cranbourne-trained Charlevoix has had five runs so far for two wins including the Listed Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Sandown-Hillside on April 9.
He could be raced over the mile and a half at Sandown again on November 12 taking to Ladbrokes Park Hillside for a shot at the lucrative $300,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Kent is looking at either the Zipping Classic, formerly the Sandown Classic renamed in honour of four-time winner Zipping (2007-10), or the following weekend’s $300,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) on November 19 for Charlevoix’s major aim this campaign.
The horse was last seen finishing off his three-year-old prep with an Adelaide run on May 14 at Morphettville in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m).
On the back of his strong autumn lead-up in Melbourne, Charlevoix jumped the $3.60 favourite in the SA Derby but he and jockey Mark Zahra could only manage to finish 4.7 lengths away fifth to the Darren Weir-trained winner Howard Be Thy Name.
Howard Be Thy Name has had three subsequent runs including a fourth to Eagle Way on June 11 at Eagle Farm in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m).
The beaten SA Derby favourite Charlevoix meanwhile is yet to return to the track with Kent preferring to keep him fresh.
“I probably went one run too far with him and he raced a bit one-paced in the Derby,” Kent told Racing Victoria this week.
“I was keen to give him a really long break and he had eight weeks off which has limited his spring preparation so we’ve earmarked races like the Zipping Classic and Ballarat Cup.
“His two wins have been at Sandown and he’ll be the fresh horse on the scene and hopefully a few of the opposition will have run out of legs by then.
“He’ll go into the Sandown Classic second or third-up and it will be a very light spring for him because we’re very bullish that he’ll be a nice stayer in the autumn.”
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