Charging home to finish an agonizingly-close second in last weekend’s featured Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown, trainer Mick Kent has revealed he will likely back up classy mare Epingle in Saturday’s Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m).
Jumping from the gates well in the Zipping Classic, jockey James McDonald settled the Pins mare in prime position within the field of eight; receiving an ideal run in transit on the heels of the race’s early leaders and hugging the rails leading into the final straight to finish just a head off the pace of talented French import Au Revoir.
Understandably thrilled with the performance amongst particularly classy company, Kent told TVN Epingle’s light spring and recent form will more than likely lead to an acceptance into the final field of the 2014 Ballarat Cup.
“She pulled up fine and she’s had a very light spring,” Kent said.
“I’ll have a look at the handicaps, but it’s certainly something we’re strongly considering.”
Claiming an impressive five wins and a further 13 minor place finishes over her 31 competitive start career so far, Epingle found exceptional form over an extensive 2013 spring and 2014 autumn campaign; highlighted initially by fourth place finishes in each of the Group 3 Eliza Park International Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m) and second in the Zipping Classic.
Continuing to build in form and class into autumn, the mare out of Etoile Du Nord won each of the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) and Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) before placing third in the Group 3 Percy Sykes Tribute Stakes (1900m) and an impressive fifth in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Returning this time for fourth in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) on September 26th, Epingle ran fourth in both the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) and Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) in her only other starts prior to the Zipping Classic.
Nominated amongst a classy group of 35, Epingle will have to find an extra gear if to overcome a field likely to include the likes of Pheidon, Count Of Limonade and Massiyn in the Ballarat.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Ballarat Cup is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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