An extraordinary spring ended with more success for Lloyd Williams when Tanby added the race named after one of the owner’s all-time favourite horses at Sandown on Saturday.
Tanby ($7.50) proved to be the strongest stayer in the Group Two Zipping Classic (2400), claiming a three-quarter length win that gave the Williams family its fifth win in the race in the past six years and their sixth in the past 10.
“If there’s a race other than the Melbourne Cup that we wanted to win it’s this one,” said part-owner Nick Williams.
“Zipping was Dad’s favourite horse, it’s a special win.”
Zipping won the race named in his honour four times in succession from 2007 and was at Sandown to lead the field out on Saturday.
While Tanby is unlikely to reach the same level as his former stablemate, he will get his chance to improve on his record in the autumn.
“The Sydney Cup looks like the sort of race that’ll suit him, so that’s on the cards for now,” Williams said.
With a little more luck Tanby would have been given the chance to add to the Williams dominance of the Melbourne Cup the stable won with Green Moon, only to miss out by a couple of spots to make the final 24.
“He only had 53 (kilograms) which would have been a nice weight for a horse who’s shown he’s an out-and-out stayer,” Williams said.
As was the situation in the Melbourne Cup, the stable’s top pick was the Irish-bred Mourayan who ran a similar race at Sandown the one that had him looking the winner 300m from the finish at Flemington.
“I was focused on Mourayan until the 300 (metres) and then Tanby just swept past them,” Williams said.
Tanby held off the strong finish of Exceptionally ($7.50) who had 1-3/4 lengths to spare over third placegetter Precedence ($9).
Unlike the Melbourne Cup, the finish of the Zipping Classic was all-Australian with each of the three placegetters being bred locally.
The Zipping also brought an end to a frustrating spring for the runner-up Exceptionally.
After controversially missing a run at Flemington in October because of the firmness of the track, the mare has been placed at her past two and will also be aimed at the Sydney Cup in the autumn with another Melbourne Cup campaign planned next spring.