Farewell Zipping

23 March 2022 Written by VRC

The racing industry was saddened to hear of the passing of Zipping in March. After a long and impressive career and a determination to rival racing legends, Zipping, aged 20, was humanely euthanised at his home, Living Legends, following a paddock accident.

It has been said that Lloyd’s Williams’ best-loved horse was no promising yearling, Melbourne Cup winner or celebrated sire, but a veteran named Zipping.

“I love him, he's just one of those special horses,” said Lloyd in the past. “He's very brave and has been such a good horse for me ... he was the first horse to win the Australian Cup second-up from a spell.”

Williams bought Zipping as a yearling for $200,000 specifically for the Danehill/Grand Lodge cross in his immediate pedigree. As far as Williams was concerned, this prized combination had the potential to produce a high-quality stayer. “His dam, Social Scene, was an imported Grand Lodge mare and I thought that to be an important aspect of his pedigree at the time,” he said.

After beginning his career with a win at the Gold Coast on the last day of his two-year-old season, Zipping ran a promising third at Eagle Farm before spending a year on the sidelines.

He returned to work as a four-year-old and had six straight wins, including the Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes on Melbourne Cup Day in 2005.

He ran a game fourth in the 2006 Melbourne Cup – a race he would contest on four occasions, finishing fourth again in 2007 before an unlucky ninth in 2008 and a fourth in 2009. “People forget his Melbourne Cup record,” Williams said.

Zipping also ran in the Cox Plate four times, finishing second in 2008 and 2010 and third in 2009. He also won four Sandown Classics between 2007 and 2010, the traditional last race of the spring carnival, which was renamed the Zipping Classic in his honour. It was a truly remarkable feat for an aging galloper.

His fifth, and most successful attempt to win the Turnbull Stakes in 2010 was one to remember, as he was a nine-year-old veteran by then. Williams quipped at the time: “You wouldn’t know he was nine. You would reckon he was four.”

After his retirement in 2011, Williams rehomed Zipping at Living Legends, where he was joined in a paddock with his former stablemate and fellow Turnbull Stakes winner (2009), Efficient (affectionately known as ‘Fish’). Efficient is of course the gallant grey who won the 2006 Victoria Derby and the 2007 Melbourne Cup (the last horse to achieve this feat was Phar Lap with a VRC Derby win in 1929 and Melbourne Cup in 1930).

Seeing out his days at Living Legends, ‘Zip’ enjoyed a good scratch and hanging out with his paddock mates, especially ‘Fish’. He will be sorely missed. He was a fantastic ambassador for racing, and fans young and old still relished meeting him in the flesh, with his most recent appearance at Flemington on Super Saturday a thrill for all.

Our thoughts are with all those at Living Legends and team Williams.

Image caption: Zipping and Glen Boss on Super Saturday Race Day at Flemington on 12 March 2022.