Zipaway ready for Valley assault

Connections of Zipaway will be looking for some better luck with Zipaway in the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Jockey : DECLAN BATES. Picture: Racing Photos

Perth trainer Neville Parnham and the connections of Zipaway had high expectations as they entered the Australian Guineas at Flemington

But the race turned into a nightmare for the three-year-old after a slow beginning, which eventually saw Zipaway finish in the second half of the field. 

Zipaway has the chance to redeem himself on Saturday when he runs in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley. 

The gelding is one of Perth's best performed three-year-olds winning the Group 2 WA Guineas before running third in the Group 1 Northerly Stakes late last year. 

Parnham sent the gelding across to Melbourne for the Australian Guineas in mind and after running a first-up third to Snow Patrol in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m), everything looked on track. 

However, Mark Sestich, assistant trainer to Parnham, said the Guineas did not turn out as hoped. 

"It was heartbreaking the other day because the horse, going into that race, was going extremely well," Sestich said. 

"We thought he would be hard to beat, but when you get runs like that, it's unfortunate. 

"He was out there facing the breeze and doing all the work. 

"He didn't jump all that well and then Steven (Parnham) gave him a kick in the ribs to make him race forward which probably wasn't the right thing to do. 

"It didn't work out like we thought it would, but that's racing, and we're pretty used to that." 

Sestich has been in charge of Zipaway in Melbourne and took the gelding across to Moonee Valley for a gallop on Tuesday morning. 

He said Zipaway had a good look around early in the workout but was on his game when it mattered late in the gallop. 

Sestich does not see Saturday's trip being a worry. 

"It's a matter of whether he gets there on Saturday and handles the track, but that's why we took him out there to have a look," Sestich said. 

"He's run third, beaten a head and head behind Dom To Shoot and Zaaki over 1800 metres, so I don't think the 2000 metres will worry him. 

"It's just how he handles the track and where he is at in his preparation." 

In form jockey Declan Bates takes over aboard Zipaway with Steven Parnham riding at Ascot where he has seven rides on Saturday.