When nominations were released for the 2011 Cox Plate and the 2011 Caulfield Cup the initial interest surrounded the big names that were on the list as punters picked out their early favourites and horses to follow.
When things settled down though the interest turned to which horses were not on the list, with Zipping a very conspicuous omission.
He’s been a permanent feature of the Melbourne spring racing carnival for over a half a decade but in 2011 he won’t be taking his place at Moonee Valley, Caulfield or Flemington.
The 10 year old gelding has been retired from racing, the final curtain drawn on a glorious career.
He leaves the sport with a tremendous legacy, most notably being the Sandown Classic which fast became his own.
He won the Group 2 2400m race an incredible four times in a row, his influence so dominant that this year it was renamed to the Zipping Classic.
Zipping has forever been in and around the top echelon of Australian racing, his talent shown early when he won on debut at the Gold Coast in 2004.
He’s run in the biggest events Australia has to offer but surprisingly he only won his first Group 1 race last year in the Australia Cup over 2000m back in March.
He added a second Group 1 to the tally later the same year when he won the Turbull Stakes, beating Melbourne Cup champion Shocking in the process.
He finishes his career with Robert Hickmott after starting it with Graeme Rogerson.
In the middle he also had a stint with John Sadler between November 2007 and October 2009.
Many will remember Zipping from his Melbourne Cup runs, never fancied in the betting but always finishing there abouts.
He came home fourth on three separate occasions, 2006, 2007 and in 2010.
Added to that he placed three times in the Cox Plate, second in 2010 and 2008 and third in 2009.
His consistency at all levels elevated him to cult status among many race fans with the name ‘Zipping’ transcending from the purists right through to the once a year Melbourne Cup punter.
He was due for one final campaign in 2011 but in the end his February start in the CF Orr Stakes will be his last.
The 1400m test was always going to be too short as he built towards the Australian Cup so the 10th placed finish is an underwhelming note to end on.
He suffered a severe leg injury in the run but at the time it was hoped he would recover for one final spring preparation.
Unfortunately that hasn’t happened and Zipping will remain in the paddock for the rest of his years.
It’s likely we’ll see him around again though, his presence at this year’s Zipping Classic all but compulsory.
Zipping leaves the game after starting in 47 races. In that time he won 16 times and placed a further 10 for prize money worth over $4.5 million.