Big three go OS

ONE of the most memorable Melbourne Spring Racing Carnivals concludes with the running of Saturday’s Group 2 $301,000 Sportingbet Sandown Guineas (1600 metres) on the Sportingbet Park, Sandown, Hillside track.
Sportingbet Sandown Guineas Day concludes the world’s greatest racing carnival after the Melbourne Racing Cub opened with the BECK Caulfield Guineas on October 11.
Through that time there has been some wonderful racing with the Peter and Paul Snowden’s Shooting To Win winning the BECK Caulfield Guineas and Amicus was successful in the Schweppes Thousand Guineas. The Japanese returned and won the Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup when the ill-fated Admire Rakti stormed home.
Attention then turned to Moonee Valley when another international visitor, Adelaide made a scintillating run from the 900 metres around the field to win the Cox Plate. Not a bad race for the great Irish trainer, Aiden O’Brien to open his Australian account. Added to that was the daring ride by Ryan Moore, considered by most as the best jockey in the world, to win his first race here.
The world’s attention then focused on Flemington and the great ride by Damien Oliver to win the AAMI Victoria Derby on the maiden, Preferment, who is already being looked on as a top chance in next year’s Melbourne Cup.
Tuesday saw just why Ryan Moore is considered the best in the world with a scintillating ride on German stallion Protectionist to score an outstanding win in the Emirates Melbourne Cup. Regrettably that great performance was put in the shade with the tragic demise of the favourite and Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti, plus Araldo. Whilst we saw the glory of a great win we also witnessed the unfortunate side of racing.
For the first time international visitors had won the ‘big three’ of Australian racing.
Then on Thursday, Set Square convincingly won the Crown Oaks (2500 metres).
Saturday’s super meeting features the $301,000 Group 2 Sportingbet Sandown Guineas (1600 metres), the $351,000 Group 2 Deadly Design Zipping Classic (2400 metres), the $150,750 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800 metres), the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300 metres), the Group 3 $150,750 Mack Tow Sandown Stakes (1500 metres) and the Group 3 $150,750 Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes (1500 metres). Two Group 2 events, four Group 3 races and three Listed events.
Entries do not close until today (Monday) but fields are sure to be strong as this is a very popular meeting.
Interesting event is the $150,500 Listed Sportingbet Sandown Cup (3200 metres). First introduced in 2010 the 3200 metres of the Sandown Cup will allow the winner to pass distance qualifications for the 2014 Melbourne Cup and becomes one of the few “other two milers” run in Australia.
The Sportingbet Sandown Guineas has been the race of future champions with the likes of Always There, Adbul, Taj Rossi, So Called, Galleon and Durbridge having won and Storm Ruler, Analight, Denise’s Joy and the mighty Saintly being placed. It has proven a popular event for horses coming through the Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day. David Hayes has announced that he will run the $200,000 Fastnet Rock colt, Petrology, who impressively won the TCL 4K UHD TV Stakes (1800 metres) on Oaks Day and the 1600 metres looks ideal.
In 2012 Tanby gave Lloyd Williams his fifth win in the Deadly Design Zipping Classic (previously known as the Williamstown Cup, Sandown Cup and Sandown Classic) in the last seven years and he is sure to be represented. The race was renamed the Zipping Classic in 2011 following the incredible effort by Zipping, owned by Lloyd Williams, to win the Sandown Classic for the fourth successive year in 2010.
The Sandown Classic was first run as the Williamstown Cup in 1888 and later renamed the Sandown Cup before becoming the Sandown Classic and now the Zipping Classic. The race has been run at the now defunct Williamstown Racecourse, Caulfield, Flemington, Moonee Valley and, of course, Sandown, making it the only event to have been contested on five Melbourne metropolitan tracks.