International stayer My Quest For Peace will miss the chance of picking up a $100,000 bonus if connections decide to miss Saturday’s Group 2 $350,000 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown and head to Hong Kong in December.
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.
The Melbourne Racing Club introduced a new incentive this year which sees the winner of the Zipping Classic collect the handsome bonus if it was a runner in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20.
As well as the Zipping Classic bonus, the Listed $150,000 Sportingbet Sandown Cup (3200m) also carries a bouns of $100,000 for any horse that wins which was a final acceptor in the Caulfield Cup or the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 but did not gain a start.
Melbourne Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Alasdair Robertson announced the incentives at the beginning of the Spring Carnival in an attempt to raise the profile of the two Sandown feature races which are run on the final day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“These bonuses provide both local and visiting stables with additional encouragement to target the BMW Caulfield Cup, whilst also providing worthy consolation to horses competing at the highest level in the spring without achieving the ultimate success,” Robertson said.
“The Zipping Classic is a race well-established as one of the highest quality, exemplified by last year’s quinella of Americain and Manighar. Our aim is to build the Sandown Cup to an event of that level, with the added attraction of its two-mile trip to accommodate stayers, either visiting or local, on the fringe of the feature cups.”
The Ciaron Maher trained Moudre is also eligible for the bonus if he can win the Zipping Classic after finishing fourteenth to Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup before running eighth to Puissance De Lune in last Saturday’s Group 3 $250,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington.
If My Quest For Peace misses the Zipping Classic, the Luca Cumani stable will still be represented with Ibicenco who ran a much improved race at his second Australian start when fourth to Kelinni in the The Lexus Stakes.
Ibicenco is also nominated for the Sandown Cup with the Cumani stable to make a final decision later in the week in which race the five year will go around in on Saturday.
Nominations for the Zipping Classic have been extended until 10am Tuesday morning after the club only received fourteen entries for the final feature race of the of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.