Zipping Army Marches Into Magic Maiden

PROLIFIC breeder Martin Hallinan won’t know where to look on Wednesday night as he launches an all-out ‘Zipping’ assault on the Magic Maiden.

PROLIFIC breeder Martin Hallinan won't know where to look on Wednesday night as he launches an all-out ‘Zipping' assault on the heats of the Group 3 Ladbrokes Magic Maiden at Wentworth Park.

Hallinan and family will remarkably supply 15 of the 41 (at the time of publication) starters – or 36.5 per cent – in the six heats of the prestigious $25,000 to-the-winner maiden.

The majority of the Hallinan contingent are first starters from Zack Monelli x Zipping Fleur (nine) and Feral Franky x Zipping Truvy (four) litters, trained by Minnie Finn and daughter-in-law Courtney Barnes.

FIELDS AND FORM WENTWORTH PARK WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Each of the runners from the two litters will be facing the starter for the first time.

"There's no superstars there," Minnie Finn said candidly.

Zipping Novak, pictured here at Goulburn, won the Magic Maiden in 2022

"Hopefully they'll be competitive, but there's no (Zipping) Kyrgios' or Sheikhas there, so I can't tip you one!

"The standout isn't running in the heats. A dog called Zipping Neymar (Zack Monelli x Zipping Fleur) is the rocket but I need to sort out a few issues with him.

"They've got a bit of age on them. Both litters turn two in April. 

"They might improve a bit with experience, but at the moment they've been doing everything right and they're running around 30.30s.

"The Zack Monelli litter are strong enough but they'd have to lead and the Feral Franky litter are strong but they're slow early."

Finn is hoping some of the youngsters can step up to the plate having lost four ‘Zipping' kennel stars to injury recently – ‘Orlando', ‘Remus', ‘Ronaldo' and ‘Vanessa'.

Hallinan is chasing a fourth Magic Maiden title, his previous winners being Gilderoy (2005), Zipping Man (2011) and Zipping Novak (2022).

In last year's final he raced second (Zipping Elkie), third (Zipping Remus) and fourth (Zipping Rousey), all trained by Minnie and her late husband, the legendary John Finn.

"I've lost track of who's who!" Hallinan said of Wednesday's heat contenders.

"The Feral Frankys are strong, naturally, being out of Zipping Truvy, she was a very good stayer.

"Zipping Fleur, the mother of the Zack Monelli litter, was a 390m – 400m bitch in Victoria. She was a similar bitch to Zipping Dharma, the mother of Zipping Orlando."

While Hallinan has numbers on his side in the Magic Maiden, his hopes of a second victory in the Golden Easter Egg rest solely with last-to first heat winner Zipping Megatron.

Zipping Megatron charged into the Golden Easter Egg semi-finals with victory at the weekend

Zipping Megatron, a son of Superior Panama and Zipping Mitzy, trained by Jason Magri, staged a remarkable recovery to win his heat in 29.99sec, his eighth win from ten starts.

"He's a special dog," said Hallinan, who raced 2019 Egg heroine Zipping Bailey.

"Gee, he's sensible. His last two runs he's been last at the winning post the first time. 

"Last Saturday night, I was thinking don't go wide because he couldn't win going wide.

"We need to draw one, two or three this week. This is when you really need to be near the fence."

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