Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
Another two mile contest calls for the progressive Lindsay Park-trained mare Fanatic who targets the 2018 Adelaide Cup in the autumn next year following her Sandown Cup success at Ladbrokes Park over the weekend.
It was a gutsy performance on Zipping Classic Day in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Cup (3200m) by both the winning galloper and jockey Michael Walker.
Walker was subsequently stood down from his remaining two rides on the card, the hoop suffering from a bout of pneumonia diagnosed on Friday.
He wouldn’t be talked out of sitting out of the Sandown Cup ride on well-supported Kiwi expat and 2016 NZ Oaks winner Fanatic, the now five-year-old daughter of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking rewarding him with a quarter-length success.
In second for the second year on the trot after finishing runner-up to Qewy in 2016 was the now Aaron Purcell-trained Swacadelic, while the Darren Weir-trained race favourite Gallic Chieftain rounded out the Sandown Cup trifecta in third.
Fanatic tracked Gallic Chieftain into the race, the field led around at a hot pace by runway leader Darabad, before hitting the lead 200m out from the line and holding off the late challenge by Swacadelic.
“Full compliments to Michael Walker, he rode Almoonqith the same way in this race [back in 2015],” Lindsay Park lead trainer David Hayes said post-win on Saturday.
“I think Michael is struggling with pneumonia, that’s why he’s pulled up a bit short but I’m sure the mare has pulled up well.”
Fanatic came off a lead-up 2800m win at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day and proved her staying potential saluting over the 3200m at her third attempt over the two miles.
Back across the Tasman earlier this year the mare was a close fourth to Savaria in the Group 3 Wellington Cup (3200m), before a sixth to Chenille in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) in her previous runs over the distance.
Hayes was thrilled with the Sandown Cup win by Fanatic and plans to give her another two mile run in the autumn in the Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville in early March.
“We’ll probably look at a race like the Adelaide Cup and then maybe look at Sydney but she’s a Kiwi that doesn’t like wet tracks,” he said.
This year’s Adelaide Cup winner was Annus Mirabilis who came off a lead-up fifth to Big Memory in Flemington’s Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) a fortnight earlier.
Looking further ahead, should Fanatic continue to rise through the grades down under, a shot at the Group 1 $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) in mid-April could be on the cards for her over ‘The Championships’.
Annus Mirabilis managed to finish a brave fourth to Polarisation in this year’s rescheduled Sydney Cup two runs after winning the Adelaide Cup.
Hayes hasn’t enjoyed a Sydney Cup victory since winning the race back in 1993 with Azzaam who defeated race favourite Subzero (3rd).
To get behind Sandown Cup winner Fanatic next race during the autumn at the right price, head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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