Lead­ing the pack

Team Wil­liams chas­ing an­other Zip­ping Clas­sic

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - ADAM SHERRY

LLOYD and Nick Wil­liams will have a two-pronged at­tack as they search for an eighth win in the Group 2 Zip­ping Clas­sic (2400m) at Sandown to­mor­row.

Re-named from the Sandown Clas­sic in 2011 af­ter Wil­liams’ for­mer war­rior Zip­ping recorded four con­sec­u­tive wins in the race from 2007 to 2010, they have also tasted suc­cess with Leg­i­ble (2003), Tanby (2012) and The Taj Ma­hal last year.

Team Wil­liams will be rep­re­sented by de­fend­ing win­ner The Taj Ma­hal along with Sir Isaac New­ton in this year edi­tion.

The Taj Ma­hal heads into the Zip­ping Clas­sic off a last start ninth be­hind Ven­tura Storm and Trap For Fools in the Group 2 Moonee Val­ley Gold Cup (2500m) where he was found to be lame af­ter the race.

Prior to that, scored a nar­row win over Gal­lic Chief­tain in the Group 3 JRA Cup at Moonee Val­ley be­fore a fifth be­hind Best So­lu­tion in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup.

“Taj will run well,” Lloyd Wil­liams said.

“He lead this time. He is much bet­ter lead­ing,”

The son of Galileo’s two Aus­tralian wins have come when rac­ing on the pace and rolling along.

Stable­mate Sir Isaac New­ton is yet to win in Aus­tralia since ar­riv­ing late 2016 to con­test the Caulfield Cup but on his best form, is ca­pa­ble of sur­pris­ing.

An­other son Galileo, Sir Isaac New­ton was third be­hind The Taj Ma­hal in the FRA Cup at Moonee Val­ley be­fore a two and a half-length sixth to red Alto in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup

three length fifth be­hind Jaameh 3 Queen Eliz­a­beth Stakes at Flem­ing­ton last week­end.

“He is rac­ing with­out a lot of luck but has abil­ity,” Wil­liams said.

Three of the last four win­ners of the Zip­ping Clas­sic have come through the Mel­bourne Cup and this year, Who Shot The­bar­man and Ven­tura Storm have pushed on to this race.

Tom Dabernig, co-trainer of Moonee Val­ley Gold Cup win­ner Ven­tura Storm, said the geld­ing had come through last week’s Mel­bourne Cup well with the sta­ble be­liev­ing he failed to run out the 3200 me­tres.

“He pulled up fine so we thought we’d give him an­other try be­fore putting out,” Dabernig said.

“Mark Zahra rode him well but he just didn’t stay the trip so we’ll keep him to 2400m max­i­mum as of now.”

The Taj Ma­hal is chas­ing back-to-back wins in the in the Zip­ping Clas­sic, the race named af­ter Team Wil­liams’ war­rior who won it ev­ery year be­tween 2007 (in­set left) and 2010 (in­set right)

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