A win in the Group 2 $350,000 Deadly Design Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sportingbet Sandown Park tomorrow for owner Lloyd Williams would cap off a great Melbourne Spring Carnival after winning the Melbourne Cup with Green Moon.
Williams won his fourth Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last week when Green Moon scored with Brett Prebble and will be represented in the Zipping Classic with favourite Mourayan and stablemate Tanby.
The weight for age Zipping Classic carries the name of Williams’ favourite galloper, Zipping, who won the Classic on four successive occasions from 2007 when it was called the Sandown Classic before the Melbourne Racing Club renamed it in his honour.
A win by Mourayan or Tanby would be very sentimental for Williams who holds a special place for Zipping who as well as winning four times at Group 2 level was able to score twice at Group 1 level.
Zipping had an outstanding 2010, winning the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in the Autumn and followed that up in the Spring with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) also at Flemington.
“Zipping was very close to my heart,” said Williams.
“He created history with four consecutive wins in the race. He ran two seconds and a third in the Cox Plate, and three fourths in the Melbourne Cup besides winning the Australian Cup. I have great memories of a great warrior.”
“I would be absolutely delighted if either Mourayan or Tanby won the race. The Zipping Classic is very high on my agenda – not exactly a Melbourne Cup, but a very special race to me.”
“Mourayan is a frontrunner and Tanby gets back; they are different in that respect. But both should run well. Both are in good order and I’m happy with them.”
Mourayan has to overcome a tough run when seventh in the Melbourne Cup where he finished less than five lengths behind his stablemate Green Moon.
Top Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman has stuck with Mourayan after teaming up with the seven year old in his two Randwick runs before riding him in the Melbourne Cup and is giving him a strong chance of winning at Sandown tomorrow.
“Mourayan is a good, honest horse and was beaten less than a length behind Americain in this race last year,” Bowman said.
“It was only a small field but it was a quality race, but this doesn’t look as strong.”
“He’s had a pretty light preparation so he should have some juice left in his legs and I would think he will be very hard to beat.”
Mourayan has proved himself at weight for age with a win in the Group 3 $125,000 APN Outdoor Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on October 6 and was also beaten less than a length by Glass Harmonium in last year’s Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Williams other runner Tanby also comes to Sandown with fair Spring form including a win in the Listed $120,000 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 6 three runs back and a last start third to runaway winner Puissance De Lune in the Group 3 $250,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on November 10.
Mourayan has already come in for solid support and is the $2.60 favourite with the David Hayes three year old Rawnaq at $5 just ahead of Exceptionally at $6 with Precedence and Tanby sharing the next line of betting at $8.