The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Jockey Steven Arnold, recently let go from the Lloyd Williams? stable, will attempt his third Group 2 Sandown Classic win in four years this Saturday aboard Zarita.
A restructuring of the Lloyd Williams? Macedon Lodge, which included Robert Hickmott replacing John Sadler as the operation?s head trainer, saw Arnold dumped as Williams? stable rider.
The move has proved to be a fortuitous one for Arnold, who is no longer restricted to ride one of the three runners the stable has entered in Saturday?s $350 000 feature, Efficient, Zipping and C?est La Guerre.
Instead, he will continue his partnership with Zarita after riding her to third place behind winner Typhoon Tracy last start in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington.
Williams took out the Classic in 2006 aboard Lee Freedman?s Gallant Guru and backed up the success the following year with Zipping.
Zipping went on to win in 2008 and is also aiming for a hat-trick in the feature on Saturday with Michael Rodd mounting the defending champion for a second year in a row.
Despite the early favouritism for Zipping, Arnold has said Zarita should not be underestimated. The quality mare took out the 2008 SA Derby over 2500m and has proven weight-for-age experience.
Her recent starts include a narrow victory over Cats Whisker in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) in mid-September followed by two third place finishes in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Yalumba Stakes (2000m). Her Stocks Stakes victory took its toll on the runner, but she is back in-form, fit and ready to last the distance on Saturday.
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