Doesn’t look to be any real early speed or hustle for early position with the small field having plenty of time to sort out their order.
The Taj Mahal looks the leader and can slide across from gate 7 to take up the running.
Dal Harraild is having his 3rd Australian start. He was never pushed from gate 1 in the Herbert Power and was well back in the pack. In the Bendigo Cup he was ridden much closer to the speed.
Our Libretto has been super-effective off the pace and from gate 1 will float back and be looking for the gaps later in the race.
Ventura Storm might press forward from barrier 8 to settle closer to the speed, a pattern that worked at The Valley. The others all look to be off-pace runners.
No gear changes to consider. With the exception of Our Libretto it is an experienced field with all other runners having started in at least 20 races.
Just three runners have winning form in their current preparations- Ventura Storm, The Taj Mahal and Our Libretto. Our Libretto’s half-sister Epingle was 2nd in this race in successive years (2013 & 2014).
3 of the past 4 winners have contested the Melbourne Cup at their previous start.
The Taj Mahal will look to become the first back-to-back winner since the mighty Zipping, whose name is now honoured on this race. The 2016 winner Who Shot Thebarman is also in the field.
There are no Australian-bred horses in the field- New Zealand (2), Ireland (3), Britain (2), Germany (1).
Our Libretto, The Taj Mahal and Who Shot Thebarman are the only three runners with a win on the Sandown Hillside track.
Dal Harraild has had two Australian starts since arriving from England in the Herbert Power and Bendigo Cup. The gelding has been prepared out of the Werribee Quarantine Centre by the Maher/Eustace team.
Libran took on the Queen Elizabeth last start when 3rd to Jaameh. The 2012 and 2013 winners came through that race.
The best 2400m records in the race- Dal Harraild 8: 2-1-2, Libran 7: 3-0-0, Lord Fandango 10: 3-1-0, Who Shot Thebarman 11: 2-1-1/
Who Shot Thebarman will compete in his third Zipping Classic, his previous results a win in 2015 and a 5th in 2016.
The Taj Mahal opened at the top of the market at $4.
Showing how even the field looks to be it is a condensed market 6 of the 8 runners are under double figures. The two ‘outsiders’ are at $10 and $12 in early trading.
There has been limited activity in the early stages of trading.
Officially registered as the Sandown Classic, the Melbourne Racing Club changed the name of the race to recognise the deeds of Zipping who was able to win this race four years in succession from 2007 through to 2010. Originally known as the Sandown Cup, it changed to the Classic in 1999 and 2011 changed to the current title of Zipping Classic.
Held at the Sandown racecourse, the race is run over 2400m and held at the conditions of weight-for-age. The race was granted Group 2 status in 1979 and has maintained that since, being the flagship event of the Sandown track.
Total prize money on offer in 2018 is $300,000 with the winner to receive $180,000. The 2017 winner was the Robert Hickmott trained The Taj Mahal, ridden by Ben Melham. Other past winners include Who Shot Thebarman, Americain, Sky Heights, Stylish Century, Sydeston along with the four time winner Zipping.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 17th November 2018|
|Race Time:||16.40 AEDT|
|Race Type:||Weight For Age|
|2017 Winner:||The Taj Mahal|
|Market:||2018 Sandown Classic Odds|
|2017||THE TAJ MAHAL||02:30.0|
|2015||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN||02:29.1|