Zipping Classic (MR6)
– Lloyd Williams won this race with his grand campaigner Zipping – whom the race is now named after – four times from 2007 to 2010 and has a strong chance of claiming this year’s renewal with Mourayan. The seven year-old gelding ran well in the Melbourne Cup to finish 7th behind stablemate Green Moon at Flemington and had shown good form in Weight For Age (WFA) races prior to that. Twelve months ago, he went down to Americain by under a length in this contest. Count Ricardo won this as a three year-old in 2004 and Rawnaq will be bidding to emulate his achievement. Like Count Ricardo, the David Hayes trained galloper finished 3rd in the VRC Derby and gets as much as 8.5kg off his rivals. Precedence is honest and will be competitive, while Dame Claire is racing in career best form.
Selections: Mourayan, Rawnaq, Dame Claire, Precedence
Sandown Guineas (MR7)
–Lunar Rise scored a narrow win over Tatra in the Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day and that pair could very well fight out the finish of this event as well. Tatra could turn the tables on his rival however, given that he meets Lunar Rise 1kg better off at the weights and is drawn better. Lunar Rise is clearly improving with every start but barrier 14 makes things tricky for Hugh Bowman. Al Aneed disappointed as favourite last time out after a strong win on Caulfield Cup day and deserves another chance, while Gold Medals and Eximus both ran well at Flemington last week.
Selections: Tatra, Lunar Rise, Gold Medals, Al Aneed
Kevin Heffernan Stakes (MR8)
– Group One Stradbroke Handicap winner Mid Summer Music looks well placed in this event under the WFA conditions. If this was a handicap she would have to carry considerably more weight than her rivals but she instead receives weight off all of them (except the other mare in the race, Arctic Flight). She has a good record over course and distance and will be tough to beat. One horse that could challenge her is Unpretentious. The Nikki Burke trained gelding has always been highly regarded and scored a scintillating win down the straight on Melbourne Cup day, coming from near last to win over 1200m. He shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the extra 100m. Hot Snitzel meets him 5.5kg better off for being beaten a length and a half in that race, while Thankgodyou’rehere is another that looks well suited here. Big Buddie was unlucky at Moonee Valley last time out and could run well at big odds.
Selections: Mid Summer Music, Hot Snitzel, Unpretentious, Big Buddie
Summoned Stakes (MR9)
– Angel Of Mercy has caught the eye at both of her starts this preparation and can be in the finish of this race for in-form hoop Craig Williams. She has been too far back from a wide draw at her past two starts but will be much closer to the speed here and it would be a surprise if she didn’t run in the first three. Skyerush was beaten less than a length in the Myer Classic at the top level last time out and will find this much easier, but is one of several leading chances drawn wide. Last year’s winner Hi Belle is going well enough to suggest that she will be competitive, while Arinosa was a dominant winner of the greys race on Oaks day. Mabsam is 2nd emergency, but will go well if she gets a run.
Selections: Angel Of Mercy, Hi Belle, Skyerush, Arinosa
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