Zippy Lou a show to beat Ess­ing­ton

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss - P R I N C I P A L D A N S E U R

GOLD Coast trainer John Petersen be­lieves Zippy Lou will need to be at the top of her game to top­ple in-form sprinter Ess­ing­ton in the D a v k i n g H a n d i c a p a t Doomben.

Petersen is con­fi­dent Zippy Lou can be com­pet­i­tive when the four-year-old steps up in dis­tance to 1350m for the first time this prepa­ra­tion to­day.

‘‘ She’ll need to be com­pet­i­tive in this race if she’s to race against the bet­ter fil­lies and mares dur­ing the Bris­bane win­ter car­ni­val,’’ Petersen said.

‘‘ At this stage the Win­ter Stakes is in the mix for her but I’d like to see her step up in dis­tance fur­ther to 1600m.

‘‘ She’s lost all her pace nowa­days and she’s been get­ting back in her races and run­ning home.’’

Zippy Lou con­ceded 5.5kg to Hull City when an un­lucky third in a 1200m fil­lies and mares Class six at Ea­gle Farm two weeks ago.

‘‘ She car­ried a lot of weight that day and had a very wide bar­rier and then ran off the track in the straight,’’ Petersen said.

‘‘ Luke ( Rolls) hit her with the whip in the right hand and she ducked out sharply.’’

Gold Coast r i d e r Matt Palmer will re­place Rolls and can use the whip in ei­ther hand if re­quired. ‘‘ I was hop­ing to book Ja­son Tay­lor be­cause he’s rid­den her be­fore but he’s out sus­pended,’’ Petersen said.

‘‘ Matt does a fair bit of rid­ing for me at the track each morn­ing so we’ve de­cided to put him on.’’

Petersen has a great deal of re­spect for Ess­ing­ton who will be at­tempt­ing to main­tain an un­blem­ished record this cam­paign fol­low­ing two re­cent wins at Ea­gle Farm.

‘‘ Ess­ing­ton is the one to beat. He’s got a great record and has won his last four starts,’’ Petersen said. ‘‘ My mare will need to be at the top of her game and will need some luck to beat him but she’s rac­ing well enough ( and) . . . she’s bet­ter if the sting is out of the ground.’’

Ess­ing­ton, a $ 50,000 buy at a Lloyd Wil­liams dis­per­sal sale, is on trial for a trip to Syd­ney for the au­tumn.

Trainer Dar­ryl Hansen is keen to test the four-year-old i n t he Group Two Ajax Stakes at Rose­hill in two weeks be­fore next month’s Group Three Don­caster Pre­lude ( 1600m) at Rand­wick.

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