The drop back to the 2400m of the Group 2 $300,000 Quayclean Zipping Classic at Ladbrokes Park at Sandown on Saturday will suit Ventura Storm better after being unplaced in the Melbourne Cup last week.
Lindsay Park head trainer David Hayes believes that Ventura Storm failed to run out the 3200m when tenth in the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November and said the drop back in distance is what he is looking for.
“His run in the Melbourne Cup was excellent, he just didn’t stay,” Hayes said.
“He got us out of our seats at the 2800m, 2900m mark, but the last 300m, he just didn’t finish the race off.”
“His form in the Moonee Valley Cup was excellent, beating the Mackinnon Stakes winner (Trap For Fools).”
“So I think he is in form and will be very hard to beat back at a mile and a half.”
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig had high hopes for Ventura Storm in the Melbourne Cup after the European import won his previous start in the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on October 27.
Mark Zahra rode Ventura Storm in both the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and the Melbourne Cup and gets the ride again in the Zipping Classic.
Ventura Storm has drawn the outside barrier in the eight horse Zipping Classic field while last year’s winner The Taj Mahal, with Ben Melham in the saddle, will jump from next to him in gate seven.
The Taj Mahal was a winner three starts back in the Group 3 $200,000 JRA Cup (2040m) at The Valley on September 28 followed by a fifth in the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20.
At his most recent start, The Taj Mahal was well beaten by Ventura Storm when ninth in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
The Taj Mahal has been marked as the $4 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to win back to back Zipping Classics while Ventura Storm is on the third line of betting at $6.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Dal Harraild and Grahame Begg’s Our Libretto are sandwiched in between The Taj Mahal and Ventura Storm at $5 each.