It is all systems go for Zipping Classic for odds on favourite Americain ($1.50).
The unlucky 2011 Melbourne Cup fourth, lines up against four opponents in $350,000 Group 2 feature on the Sandown Hillside and its minder Stephanie Nigge is going into the race happy with the French galloper’s condition.
”He showed us after the Cup that he was fine and that is why we have taken this decision [to run him in the Zipping],” Nigge said.
”Since the Cup he has gone a very steady canter to keep him fresh and happy, and just today he did 400 metres a bit quicker.
Americain looked in top order at Werribee, working home strongly over the last 400m of his morning gallop.
Any give in the ground will be appreciated by connections who have re-applied the concussion plates for the Zipping.
Americian wore them when victorious in the Moonee Valley Cup but went without in the Melbourne Cup.
Sandown is currently rated a dead five but is expected to be upgraded to a dead four tomorrow.
Nigge doesn’t expect tactics to play against jockey Gerald Mosse and Americain.
”He’s a very easy horse to ride,” Nigge said.
”You can ride him from the front or back. It is not a big deal with him.”
A start in next month’s Hong Kong Vase (2400m) will be made after Saturday and a new trainer will also be announced for the seven-year-old who will see out his racing career in Australia.
”We are taking it step by step and will see how he is after Sandown and [then] make the decision [about Hong Kong],” Nigge said.