The $300,000, Group 2 WFA Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown-Hillside on Saturday has three from the same stable as the great Zipping himself with 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin (GER), Assign (IRE) and The Taj Mahal (IRE) accepted in the field of eight from the Hickmott and Williams stable.
Six times winning Melbourne Cup owner Lloyd Williams declared earlier in the week that the three would be accepted for the race. Almandin was 12th in last Tuesday’s Cup won by the William co-owned Rekindled, Assign fifth in the Group 3 Coongy over 2000m at Caufield on October 21st and The Taj Mahal fourth in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes over 2000m at Flemington last Saturday.
Damien Oliver rides Almandin, Kerrin McEvoy Assign and Ben Melham The Taj Mahal.
The Zipping Classic is Race 7 of the ten race programme at 4.00pm.
Both Snitzepeg and Beau Geste, fifth and fourth respectively in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes over 1600m at Flemington on November 4th, are using the $250,000, Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) as a last opportunity for senior spring black type.
There were 11 acceptances for the race.
The Darren Weir trained Snitzepeg went into the Carbine Club Stakes after two stakes wins and after racing at the rear of the field came late to finish fifth, 3/4L from the winner Levendi. Dean Yendall rides with barrier seven. The stable has also accepted with the Ballarat winner Peaceful State.
Godolphin’s Beau Geste also raced at the rear of the Carbine field to close for fourth. The Street Cry colt has raced well over the spring without a black type win. Damien Lane rides with barrier four.
The Sandown Guineas is Race 8 at 4.40pm.
The rail is in the true position for the entire circuit with the track rated a Good 3 at acceptances after 10mm of irrigation over the past 24 hours and 40mm in the last seven days.
Rain is forecast for Thursday with a cloudy day and a high (80%) chance of showers, 3mm-25mm, 21c and the chance of thunderstorms. Friday will be cloudy with a medium (50%) chance of showers, 0mm-1mm, and 21c while Saturday’s forecast is for a partly cloudy day with a medium (60%) chance of showers, 0mm-4mm, and 15c – 23c.