Leading the pack
Team Williams chasing another Zipping Classic
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)