The first of the two Group 2’s at Sandown this Saturday is the weight-for-age Zipping Classic for the stayers. Only a field of eight to contest and within that number, only four legitimate chances according to the market. Dandino ($3.20), Who Shot Thebarman ($5.00) and Rising Romance ($3.50) all have sound WFA form this campaign and each boast strong records at this particularly distance, whilst Tall Ship has been correctly identified as the main danger to this trio after a luckless run last time out at Flemington. Dandino and Rising Romance have had a good preparation for this whilst Who Shot Thebarman will be backing up from a Spring Cups campaign. The OTI Syndicate, who enjoyed success over the carnival with Gailo Chop’s win in the G1 Mackinnon Stakes on Derby Day, also race Tall Ship and won this race last year with Au Reviour. Punters give the former European galloper Tall Ship a good chance here despite the big step up in grade, rating him a $7.00 hope.
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1. DANDINO – D Dunn (4) 59kgs
Has been racing in good style this campaign and was rewarded for his consistency in last weekend’s Queen’s Cup (2600m), defeating Secret Number by 1.8 lengths. Enjoyed a great run just off the speed last start and showed good acceleration when asked for it at the 350m. He’ll position up well here too from gate four, performed well at WFA earlier this prep over shorter distances, and boasts a great record this trip, having finished in the top two thirteen times from twenty-one starts.
2. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN – J McDonald (5)
Found a nice spot in the Melbourne Cup and the right gap at the top of the straight which saw him join the leaders with 350m to go. However, he was tightened up badly by Trip To Paris at the 150m and suffered significant interference, dashing any hope he had of finishing closer than his eleventh (4.1 lengths), His prior form is also better than it reads on paper and he’ll enjoy the drop in grade compared to his more recent efforts here. Touch of give in the ground will be ideal, but sure to run well all the same.
3. SERTORIUS – C Newitt (7)
Hasn’t finished in the first half of the field in his five starts thus far this campaign, his most recent outing resulting in a twelfth (4.9 lengths) in the Melbourne Cup. Back up to the WFA scale not ideal for this 8yo who is looking to recapture the form that saw him claim this race in 2013, defeating Epingle and Queenstown.
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4. TALL SHIP – B Rawiller (2)
Had no luck at his most recent start – when eighth (2.9 lengths) behind Awesome Rock in the Listed Symphony Stakes (1800m) on Cup Day. Only needed a bit of room to probably secure at least a place last time out and that would’ve followed a good fourth int he Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) behind subsequent Group 1 Emirates Stakes winner, Turn Me Loose. The step up to 2400m won’t bother him either, he bolted in with the Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) earlier this year and whilst this is a step up in grade on that race and his recent efforts here, can be expected to run well.
5. DON DOREMO – M Zahra (3)
Started big prices his last couple of runs – G3 Queen’s Cup (30/1) and Geelong Cup (100/1), where he has finished third and eleventh respectively. Got the lovely run in the Queen’s Cup and stuck on well however, meets the winner from that race Dandino, 3.5kgs worse off after having only carried 54.5kgs last start, and it’s hard to see him turning the tables under the weight conditions of this race.
6. RISING ROMANCE – D Lane (8)
Hasn’t been blessed this campaign, finding trouble or bad draws in most of her five starts this preparation. The 5yo mare drew wide in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day but pushed forward to find a great spot, two back the running line as they settled down. She peeled out and let down well, hitting the front at the 300m and looking the winner however the leader Gailo Chop, dug deep, kicked back, and bettered her by half a length on the line. Her efforts this campaign should see her finish it with something to show for them and this could be her race.
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7. KIRRAMOSA – K McEvoy (6)
Started the favourite for the Bendigo Cup (2400m) at her most recent start but from the second half of the field – couldn’t quite reel in winner The Offer, finishing third and one length away. She was off almost a four week break at Bendigo and jumping up from the mile of the G1 Epsom Handicap so would expect her to derive great benefit from last start. Form this time in has been solid and gets to the right kind of race here where despite some concern over the WFA conditions, she looks set to figure strongly.
8. DO YOU REMEMBER – V Duric (1)
Former South African galloper who was having his first start in six months, and only her second for a year almost two years, when ninth (4.7 lengths) in the G3 G1X.com.au Stakes (1600m) three weeks ago. Did all she could do at the Valley when from the widest barrier, she settled last and finished ninth (4.7 lengths) to Coronation Shallan – who dominated from up front. Mixed it with the best in SA during 2013, winning the G1 Woolavington and finishing a second in the SA Oaks. Might need a bit more time and racing thought before she’s back near that form which is what’s required for her to be successful here.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Could be a bit of muddling speed here with no natural leading engaged and that’ll play more into the class horses of the race – especially under the WFA conditions. Going with Dandino on top, excellent win last weekend and his form has been rock solid entire prep – similarly for Rising Romance and there’s not much between them but, the 2400m under WFA conditions tips the scales in favour of Dandino for mine. Like Tall Ship as a budding stayer – only has had the sixteen starts but should’ve been involved in the finish for mine last time out and this race in terms of class falls away quickly.
2. RISING ROMANCE
3. TALL SHIP