Southern France late entry for G2 Zipping

Mathew Toogood
Co-trainer David Eustace says unplaced Melbourne Cup runner Southern France could run at Sandown

Imported stayer Southern France is a late nomination for the Group Two Zipping Classic at Sandown with connections keeping their options open.

Southern France finished 19th in last Tuesday's $8 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in his first Australian start and first run for co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

Nominations for Saturday's weight-for-age Zipping Classic (2400m) were held open until Tuesday morning, with Southern France the only late addition to the 13 original entries.

Acceptances are on Wednesday morning.

"Southern France came through the Cup run extremely well," Eustace said.

"Obviously the result was a little bit disappointing. The race didn't pan out great for him.

"It's going to be a small field without an awful lot of depth to it, so he's going to gallop in the morning and then we can make a call."

His inclusion brings the stable's Zipping entries to five with last year's runner-up Dal Harraild set for another crack at the race.

Whether Humidor backs up after his ninth in last Saturday's Mackinnon Stakes is to be decided but Eustace suggested it was unlikely.

"He's in on Saturday. We'll be cautious on running because we feel he's done a good job this preparation off the back of an injury and we don't want to go to the well unnecessarily," he said.

"So we've got a lot of thinking to do."

Big Blue is scheduled to instead contest the Listed Sandown Cup over 3200m on the same program.

Eustace says while Dal Harraild had been a bit disappointing so far this spring he is better when he can roll along near the pace but has been slowly away in his past two starts.

He said they bypassed last Saturday's Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington with Dal Harraild, believing the Zipping Classic would be more suitable.

"I thought he worked nicely this morning so it looks a nice race for him," he said.