Track specialist Charlevoix is set to step up dramatically in class and distance when he tackles weight for age for the first time in the Group 2 $300,000 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on Saturday.
Trainer Mike Kent has also nominated Charlevoix for the Group 3 $150,000 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) but is leaning towards the longer distance of the Zipping Classic as his preference.
The lightly race Charlevoix has won two of his six starts, both on the Sandown Hillside track, his latest in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Galilee Series Final on April 9 over the same course and distance as the Zipping Classic.
The New Approach four year old stallion has only had one run this campaign for a twelfth in a 1400m BenchMark 84 Handicap at Caulfield on October but Kent said that he needs the 2400m of the Zipping Classic to produce his best.
“He was earmarked for the Zipping Classic all the way through,” Kent told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“He’s already won his two races at Sandown.
“I missed a run with him – he had a high white cell count for the last couple of weeks, and it’s just come right down now.
“I’ve just got happy with him again.
“It looks a not bad edition of it. It’s normally a thin race.
“If he pulls up well, he’ll run there – not the Eclipse. He wouldn’t be competitive at that trip against the better horses.”
Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams had nominated four for the Zipping Classic and as well as the Melbourne Cup winner Almandin, Williams also entered his other Melbourne Cup runners Bondi Beach, (thirteenth), Assign (nineteenth) and Gallante (twentieth).
But it looks like Williams will now have only one runner in Sydney Cup winner Gallante.
Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller has nominated Who Shot Thebarman for the Zipping Classic and the eight year old is also coming a run in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 1 where he finished a creditable fifth.
Charlevoix has been installed as one of the outsiders of the Zipping Classic field at $21 with Ladbrokes.com.au while three year old So Si Bon and Who Shot Thebarman share favouritism at $4.
Early market order for Zipping Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 So Si Bon, Who Shot Thebarman,$5 Almoonqith, Big Orange, $7 Beautiful Romance, $13 Secret Number, $17 Nozomi, $21 Gallante, Charlevoix, $51 Puccini, Transfer Allowance, Tristram’s Sun.