Aspiring young trainer Ned McDonald – just two days shy of his 20th birthday – savoured his biggest moment in the sport when Zipping Zeek produced a sleek win in a G1 Hume Cup heat (600m) at The Meadows tonight.
Transferred from NSW for the series, Zipping Zeek – who was a G1 Vic Peters Classic finalist and G2 Richmond Derby runner-up – made a sensational middle-distance debut.
Zipping Zeek ($4.30) defeated Malayah Bale ($18.40) by 1.4L, with Here’s Tears ($3.10F) a further 2.8L way third in 34.10sec (Best). It was his 11th win from 21 starts and his fourth win in six starts from Box 2.
But he’ll face some stiff opposition in the final from ultimate professional Last Hurrah (pictured) who recorded his sixth win in a row with an effortless heat win.
Trained by Brett Nye, Last Hurrah ($3.00F) defeated Mepunga Maggie ($11.70) by 4.4L, with Weblec Eagle ($3.90) a further 2L away third in 34.15sec.
The G1 Australian Cup finalist and G2 McKenna Memorial runner-up registered his 32nd win from 69 starts.
Surprise packet Zero Cool was cool under pressure and dented a couple of big reputations with a brilliant heat success.
Trained by Michelle Nolan, Zero Cool ($17.70) defeated Christo Bale ($2.00F) by 4.5L, with Jim Zarr Dashian ($2.40) a further 5L away third in 34.26sec. It was her eighth win from 17 starts.
The Kayla Cottrell-trained Big Jo also won a heat – albeit in a moderate 34.57sec.
Big Jo ($7.10) accounted for Fabriola Zad ($5.50) by 0.1L, with Weblec Ace ($2.90F) a further 0.3L away third. She notched her sixth win from 24 starts – including four from her past six.
Victoria’ s leading trainer, Andrea Dailly, will rug two runners – Malayah Bale and Fabriola Zad – in the $75,000-to-the-winner final on November 2.
Zipping Zeek 34.10sec (Best)
Last Hurrah 34.15sec
Zero Cool 34.26sec
Big Jo 34.57sec
GROUP 1 HUME CUP FINAL (600M)
The Meadows – Monday night, 2 November
First prize – $75,000
1 ZERO COOL (Michelle Nolan, Devon Meadows)
2 FABRIOLA ZAD (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
3 LAST HURRAH (Brett Nye, Little River)
4 BIG JO (Kayla Cottrell, Pearcedale) Scratched
5 MEPUNGA MAGGIE (Jeff Britton, Anakie)
6 MALAYAH BALE (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
7 ZIPPING ZEEK (Ned McDonald, Cranbourne South)
8 CHRISTO BALE (Mark Delbridge, Balliang)
9 HERE’S TEARS (Robert Britton, Lara)
10 WEBLEC ACE (Jeff Britton, Anakie)
WATCH: ZERO COOL (3) scores an upset Hume Cup heat win over Christo Bale (5) and Jim Zarr Dashian.