Take two for Zipping Boy at Flemington races

Melbourne’s fickle weather has resulted in Zipping Boy having to wait another week before commencing his campaign at Flemington.

Trainer Jerome Hunter had Zipping Boy down to run in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last Saturday, but an “environmental issue” forced his scratching.

Instead, Zipping Boy will commence his campaign in the Furphy Festive Season Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

“He was actually meant to run last Saturday, but we a bit of an environmental issue,” Hunter said.

“We had a lot of pollen last week, so we’ve addressed the problem and he’s all set to go this weekend.”

Hunter said the 1200m journey was not the preferred distance to start the son of Squamosa off in, but a lack of suitable races forced his hand.

In Zipping Boy’s 10 starts to date, that has netted six wins, he has competed only once at 1200m, his second race start, when beaten by The Gauch.

“He’s an open handicap horse and it is hard to find a suitable race to start him off in,” Hunter said.

“He’s definitely improved, but I would have preferred to start him off over 1000 (metres) or 1100, but in saying that I don’t think 1200 will be a problem, just not first-up.”

Hunter will be guided by Saturday’s performance as to where he heads next with Zipping Boy.

There is the option of the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on January 15, but Hunter fears that may be a step too high at this stage.

“I’ll take it as it comes,” Hunter said.

“He went through his classes last prep. I know he was only three and he won an open handicap, and it was the middle of winter, but I made sure I didn’t jump to too high a class with him.

“So, we’ll just have to see how far he can get this campaign.

“He’s a good handy horse, he’s versatile winning on the synthetic, good tracks, heavy tracks and if he’s outclassed at this time of year, we can give him a let-up and bring him back for some winter racing.”

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