The Luca Cumani stable will have only one runner in Saturday’s Group 2 $350,000 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown with My Quest For Peace being kept for the Hong Kong Vase in December.
Cumani has nominated My Quest For Peace and Ibicenco for the Zipping Classic but with My Quest For Peace heading to Hong Kong the international trainer will have only one runner in the last major race of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Senior part owner Terry Henderson was not keen to back My Quest For Peace up so quickly after finishing tenth to Green Moon in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last Tuesday and thinks the Group 1 HK$15m Longines Hong Kong Vase (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Sha Tin on December 9 is a better option.
“What we learned from Gatewood is that they are not at the top of their game when they race with a ten day back-up,” Henderson said.
“The aim is to take him to Hong Kong.”
Another one of Henderson’s team, Gatewood was an impressive winner in the Group 3 $300,000 Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 24 but then failed to perform up to expectation when sixth as favourite to Kelinni in the Group 3 $250,000 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington ten days later.
My Quest For Peace arrived in Australia with two wins in England under his belt, scoring by one and a quarter lengths in the Group 3 £60,000 Coutts Glorious Stakes (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Glorious Goodwood on August 3 followed by a win in the Listed £35,000 March Stakes (1 mile 6 furlongs) at Goodwood on August 25.
And the Galileo entire ran a respectable race when fifth to Dunaden in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20.
Ibicenco, who is also nominated in the Listed $150,000 Sportingbet Sandown Cup (3200m), ran an improved race at his second start in Australia when fourth in the Lexus on Derby Day and Henderson said with a bit of luck would have been right in the finish.
“He’s a horse that needs momentum,” Henderson said.
The former German stayer figured prominently in the stewards’ report, which stated that the five year old was held up rounding the home turn and for a major part of the straight and subsequently went to the winning post without being fully tested.
The Zipping Classic has attracted fourteen nominations with Melbourne Cup winning trainer Robert Hickmott entering Craven Plate winner Mourayan and Queen Elizabeth third placegetter Tanby and Cups King Bart Cummings has Precedence entered looking for another win this Spring.