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Sandown Saturday November 18 – Preview, Best Bets and Odds

Fri, Nov 17, 1:43pm by Staff Writer

The Sandown Classic is also known as the Zipping Classic, in honour of four-time winner Zipping.

The race is a Group 2 event held on the final day of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

A 2400m race, the weight-for-age contest attracts some of the more prominent horses that have already featured in the years Spring Carnival.

The Zipping Classic has been dominated by trainer Lloyd Williams over the past decade, with the Melbourne Cup winning owner having a strong chance to win this race again.

2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin as well as Assign and The Taj Mahal will represent Williams in the Zipping Classic.

Stiff competition is expected from Big Duke who finished fourth in the Melbourne Cup.

Almandin is a narrow favourite in the 2017 Zipping Classic at $2.70 with Sportsbet. Almandin appeared in great form heading into the Melbourne Cup, winning the JRA Trophy at Flemington in September. A few disappointing race results prior to the Cup rolled into the Spring Carnival’s main event where Almandin was disappointing.

A trademark of Irish gelding Big Duke has been its consistency throughout the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival. A strong run at the Melbourne Cup saw him finish fourth behind winner Rekindling. At $3.30 at Sportsbet, he represents value.

The 7 year old gelding from Ireland, Assign is trained by Robert Hickmott and based at Lloyd Williams’ Mt. Macedon base. He has won at group 2 level before and is a big outsider at $19 given his poor recent form.

Berisha has been racing to its potential recently, finishing 5th in his most recent start. He isn’t good enough to competitive in a field of this quality, with odds of $14 seeming off the mark and far too low for a horse of this stature.

Dandy Gent has three career wins so far and the 6 year old gelding is based in Stawell. An extreme outsider at $51.

So Si Bon is running its third race in as many weeks after poor showings in the Kennedy Mile and Emirate Stakes. A 1400m race is what best suits this horse, with his last two performances in 2400m events being poor. With one win in 19 races, a price of $14 on this horse is justified and worth steering clear of.

Consommateur is another horse who had a promising start to this years campaign before a series of poor results at the Tesio Stakes and Matriarch Stakes eventuated. She is unlikely to win this race and is one of the longest at $17.

The Taj Mahal is considered the wildcard by many in this years race. Despite winning only one race from 18 starters, he has shown solid form in finishing fourth in the Emirates Stakes. The longer race distance and his poor winning record are the big questions marks around this horse, with him being very short at $3.90 considering.

Important things to note about the Zipping Classic is that the races last three winners all contested the Melbourne Cup at their previous start. Almandin and Big Duke are the only runners to have wins in their current campaign and Assign is the only runner to have won on the Sandown Hillside course.

Suggested Bet: Take Almandin to win: $2.70

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