Former leading trainer and Ladbrokes ambassador Peter Moody is tipping The Taj Mahal to score back to back wins in the Group 2 $300,000 Quayclean Zipping Classic (2400m) at Ladbrokes Park at Sandown on Saturday.
The Taj Mahal was an all the way winner for jockey Ben Melham in last year’s Zipping Classic and the Liam Howley trained European import will be hard to run down again.
Moody wrote in his Coureir-Mail column, Moody Views, that The Taj Mahal will be hard to beat again on his recent 2018 Spring Carnival form that saw him win the Group 3 $200,000 JRA Cup (2040m) at The Valley on September 28.
The Taj Mahal wasn’t far off the mark when fifth to Best Solution in the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 and then finished ninth to Ventura Storm in the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on Cox Plate Day.
“The Taj Mahal was dominant in the Zipping Classic twelve months ago and he is clearly the horse to beat again,” Moody wrote.
“His win in the JRA Cup was tough and he had no luck in the Caulfield Cup and Moonee Valley Gold Cup. He was set a tough assignment in both those races.”
“There isn’t much speed in this contest and Ben Melham should be able to control the race. The race looks ideal for The Taj Mahal.”
Ben Melham rides The Taj Mahal again and the five year old should have no problem scooting across the front of the rest of the field from barrier seven to find the front in the run down the straight the first time.
Moody can see the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Bendigo Cup runner up Dal Harraild and Chris Waller’s consistent stayer Libran as the two hardest to beat in the eight horse Zipping Classic field.
“Dal Harraild has been good since he arrived in Australia and he is a horse that still has plenty of upside. He will have every chance from the nice draw,” Moody wrote.
“Libran is racing consistently and is knocking on the door for another race win following his third place finishes in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and thee Queen Elizabeth Stakes.”
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy rides Dal Harraild who has drawn barrier four and is coming off a last start second in the Group 3 $350,000 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) at Bendigo on October 31.
Michael Walker will be able to give Libran every chance from barrier six after the eight year old ran a solid third to Jaameh in the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington last Saturday.
The Taj Mahal sits at the top of the Zipping Classic market order at $4 with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the Grahame Begg trained Our Libretto at $5 and Dal Harraild at $5.50.