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Ciaron Maher is confident of a big run by Lord Belvedere in the Zipping Classic

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable is hoping to replicate its success of last year and take out the two major staying races at the closing meeting of the spring carnival at Sandown.

On the corresponding program twelve months ago they were successful with Southern France winning the Group Two Zipping Classic (2400m) and Azuro the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m).

On Saturday they will be represented by Lord Belvedere in the former and Etah James in the Sandown Cup.

Lord Belvedere struck form over the winter winning successive races at Flemington over 2540m and 2600m before making it a hat-trick with a 2500m win at the same track in September.

He then failed at his last start when he finished eighth behind stablemate Persan in The Bart Cummings at Flemington in an attempt to win his way into the Melbourne Cup.

However, at his previous start Lord Belvedere defeated Persan, who subsequently finished fifth in the famous race.

Maher said he was disappointed with Lord Belvedere’s effort at his last start but felt he wasn’t suited by an inside barrier draw.

“He got stuck on the inside. He needs clear room and gates such as barrier one or two don’t suit him,” Maher said.

“He needs to be drawn out so he can blend into a race.”

Maher is approaching the Zipping Classic with a degree of confidence saying it looks a nice race for Lord Belvedere.

The trainer was at Sandown on Tuesday morning to supervise his team’s trackwork and he said Lord Belvedere stretched his legs nicely.

 
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