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The extension of 2017 Zipping Classic nominations has seen two late entries for the staying showdown at Ladbrokes Park on Saturday with Cranbourne gallopers So Si Bon and Super Mario added to the list of potential runners.
On Monday Racing Victoria received only nine entries for the Group 2 $300,000 Zipping Classic (2400m), but there are now 11 possible stayers set to do battle in the weight-for-age clash.
Robbie Laing has thrown well-bred So You Think four-year-old So Si Bon into the mix despite the poor recent form from the entire.
Earlier in the spring So Si Bon finished a good third in Caulfield’s Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), but he has been unplaced in his subsequent two Flemington runs.
His latest start produced a 10th to Tosen Stardom just last weekend when only three lengths beaten in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m).
If accepted into the Zipping Classic field, So Si Bon will be having his first run over the 2400m since an 11th to Jon Snow in April’s Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m).
As a three-year-old in 2016 So Si Bon contested last year’s Sandown Classic running fourth behind the Godolphin international Beautiful Romance when getting the weight advantage as a colt.
Fellow Cranbourne trainer Cindy Alderson has the other late Zipping Classic nominee looking to capitalise on the good spring form of her Zabeel five-year-old Super Mario.
The gelding comes off a win on November 7 at home over 2025m carrying 60.5kg in a Benchmark 58.
There is an obvious class rise for the horse to overcome this weekend should Super Mario take on a field of better experienced Group gallopers in the Zipping Classic.
Prolific owner Lloyd Williams who celebrated his incredible sixth Melbourne Cup success this spring with Rekindling still has a powerful hold over the Zipping Classic.
His most famous winner of the race was the now namesake Zipping (2007-10) and this year his leading chance and early favourite in pre-field Zipping Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is Almandin.
“The Zipping Classic is a race I’m partial to for obvious reasons, being named after one of my favourite horses who won this race four times,” Williams, who also won in 2012 with Tanby and 2003 with Legible, told The Herald Sun.
Winner of last year’s Melbourne Cup, Almandin is at $3 to bounce back after running 12th as the beaten co-favourite in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ this year.
“He wasn’t perfect after the race. We thought it was in his knees but it was in his sacro [sacroiliac joint],” Williams said of Almandin.
“He’s had a bit of treatment and he he’s full of beans and we are thinking he will bounce back.”
Almandin will be joined in the line-up by the fellow Robert Hickmott-trained stablemates Assign and the well-supported Galileo four-year-old The Taj Mahal who ran under two lengths back fourth in the Emirates Stakes.
“I am going to run Almandin, I am going to run [The] Taj Mahal and I am going to run perhaps Assign in the Zipping Classic,” Williams confirmed.
Williams went on to confirm jockeys for his runners with Damien Oliver (Almandin) back from suspension, Ben Melham (The Taj Mahal) and Kerrin McEvoy (Assign).
See below for the latest Zipping Classic 2017 odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au with markets to be updated with the release of final acceptances on Wednesday.
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