Trainer Michael Kent says Zipping Classic changes threaten to cannibalise Ballarat, Pakenham Cups
Trainer Michael Kent, a staunch advocate for the retention of Sandown, has criticised Melbourne Racing Club‘s decision to move Zipping Classic Day to Caulfield and push deep into November.
The Cranbourne conditioner, who trained a double at Sandown on Saturday, raised concerns about the quality of the Zipping Classic, Sandown Guineas and Sandown Cup as a result of the date change.
As reported last month, in exchange for the Zipping Classic on November 27, the MRC moved the Group 1 Underwood Stakes to Sandown on September 26.
Zipping Classic had traditionally been held on the second Saturday in November – after Cup week.
“This year they’ll move it (Zipping Classic) later in the month and triple the prizemoney,” Kent said.
“You’re only going to get the country cup horses now … You need to spell the good horses and they need time off.
“It still worries me with the Sandown Guineas, if you’ve got a good three-year-old you need to spell that horse after the spring to get ready for Sydney.
“I suspect it (Sandown Guineas) will lose its group status … I’d be very surprised if it isn’t a benchmark 70 or something.
“I suspect the Sandown Cup will become a heat of the Jericho Cup – a highweight just about.”
The new Zipping Classic placement has the Group 2 bookended by the Ballarat and Pakenham Cups.
“I suspect they’ll run out of horses. Something will be cannibalised. It’ll either be the Pakenham Cup, Ballarat Cup or the Sandown races.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at it, if there’s not the pool of horses.”
The mooted sale of Sandown, an MRC agenda item for several years, was again met with resistance from City of Greater Dandenong councillors this year citing the density of proposed development.
Kent said moving Sandown’s marquee race day to Caulfield was a sign of things to come.
“I can understand what they’re trying to do but it’s just blatant that the MRC want to get rid of this place,” Kent said.
“It’s a superior track, it’s the best racetrack in Australia, probably.
“Caulfield is not the racetrack that this place is and it will change the whole thing, the dynamics of the race.”
Originally published asTrainers warns Zipping Classic boost will cannibalise country Cups
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