One of three stayers could give trainer Robert Hickmott a winner with his final runners for owner Lloyd Williams in the Group Two Zipping Classic at Sandown.
Hickmott’s association with Williams’ Macedon Lodge will come to a close after Saturday’s Sandown meeting at which the stable has last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Almandin and fellow imports Assign and The Taj Mahal in the feature, the Zipping Classic (2400m).
The Zipping Classic is named for Williams’ former star Zipping who won the weight-for-age race four times from 2007 to 2010 when it was named the Sandown Classic.
Hickmott’s first meeting as trainer for Williams’ team was the 2009 Sandown Classic meeting at which Zipping won the third of his four Classics.
In Hickmott’s eight years in the role, both Green Moon (2012) and Almandin (2016) have won Melbourne Cups.
Almandin is the $2.60 favourite in Saturday’s field of eight, coming off a last-start 12th in his Melbourne Cup defence.
The Taj Mahal is at $3.90 on the third line of betting while Assign is at $19.
Almandin will be ridden by Damien Oliver who will be reunited with the stayer after missing the Melbourne Cup ride because of an improper riding suspension incurred in the Cox Plate.
Oliver has ridden Almandin in four races for three wins with his only defeat on the stayer coming in The Bart Cummings at Flemington last month.