Military Mission bounces back from Melbourne Cup in G2 Zipping Classic

The weather gods may not have smiled on the Melbourne Racing Club ahead of their Caulfield Spring Finale.

But it did not dampen the spirits of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable who came away victorious with Military Mission in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).

It was the first win in the Group 2 weight-for-age contest for the training partners who sit fifth on the Melbourne Trainers’ Premiership with 13 winners.

Coming from last, Military Mission ($13) under Jye Mcneil swept to a 2-¾ length win from Bankers Choice ($8.50) with the $3.50 equal favourite Due De Sessa a short-neck away third.

Rebecca Shanks, who runs the Melbourne stable for Waterhouse and Bott, said the stable began to grow in confidence when the rain started falling in Melbourne early on Saturday morning.

“When it started to open up at eight o’clock at the stables this morning, we definitely thought we were a good chance,” Shanks said.

“This horse’s wet track form is super, three runs on a heavy for a win and a third.”

Military Mission won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance before finishing tenth to Without A Fight in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Saturday’s outing was his first outing since.

“He’s been exceptional this preparation,” Shanks said.

“So, brave to run in his first Cup over that distance he’d never stepped over before in a high-pressure race and then to step back in trip today and be so competitive, he’s so tough.”

McNeil said the race did not pan out as expected after being caught three wide in the early stage, but the Irish-bred imported stayer relished the wet conditions.

Instead of pressing forward to the one-out, one-back position, McNeil was forced to ease on Military Mission and go back to the tail of the field.

“I was in a bit of a jostle for positioning, but ended up having to take my medicine, come back, and keep the horse happy,” McNeil said.

“I had one run at them, and he let go with an amazing change of speed and he was too good for them.

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