Apr 12, 2018 12:53 PM
Author: James Beeson
Capacity staying field set to excite
This year's Sydney Cup has attracted a capacity field of 20 runners, while rare, it will make for an excellent staying spectacle over the 3200m Cup distance. 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin is sure to attract plenty of attention at the top of the market, however he faces some quality local opposition and a number of intriguing international visitors.
Race Track Traits
Randwick is currently rated a Good 4 with the rail out 3m the entire circuit and fine conditions predicted for the day. The racing surface looked to be playing fairly on Day 1 of The Championships last Saturday, with runners coming from both on and off the speed to win, and from most lanes across the track. Suspect we can default to a fair surface again for Day 2 this week, with similar conditions expected.
Favourite Almandin remains solid at $3.90 with no significant betting action seen for any runner aside from a longer priced move for Five To Midnight who is $51 into $34.
#1 Almandin $3.90
High quality Team Williams runner who won the 2016 Melbourne Cup. Has had a great preparation this time in, with a sound fourth in the Australia Cup before proving too strong in the Tancred where he beat a smart one in Gailo Chop. Deserves favouritism and will be powering over the top late.
#2 Who Shot Thebarman $16
Cult hero who is right in this race following a solid run behind Almandin in the Tancred last start where he ran third. Has won one and placed in three from eight attempts over the two miles which is significant. Suspect he may come up under the odds across totes nationally due to his popularity, however if you can find a reasonable fixed price, is not the worst bet.
#4 Ventura Storm $11
Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig have this gelding flying. It was a huge run in the Australia Cup second-up to get third, and then most recently when he just missed to a smart one in Sir Charles Road. Small question mark on whether he will run the two mile trip right out. With “Bossy” to steer, he is worth a gamble to find out.
#6 Pre Stwick $12
Intriguing Japanese runner who is very difficult to line up here based on recent form, including a last start fifth over 3400 where he was first-up. The Japanese staying form is usually top shelf and must respect the booking of Joao Moeira to ride. You would be wanting to see a confident move in betting late, and if that comes suspect he would figure in the finish.
#8 Auvray $13
Would have liked to have seen a better run in the Tancred last start where he finished 6 of 9 and was never a match for Almandin who poured on the pressure early. Looks like the 3200m is ambitious and doubt he will stay the trip.
#10 Aloft $7
Is second pick of the Williams runners but should still give this a shake, going off an impressive last start win in the Roy Higgins over 2600m last start. He will race right up on the speed (if not be leading) and should be out of trouble the entire trip. Could pinch it if they dawdle.
#13 Sir Charles Road $6.50
Kiwi raider who surprised a few last week here in The Chairmans over 2600m where he won in an epic two horse battle close to the line after looking beaten. The toughness displayed there will be useful in this, and is one that sneaks into the field with no weight (50kg). Effective wet or dry and can win.
Of the others….
Libran has been coming along nicely over unsuitable distances and could easily grow a leg over this trip and on his preferred dry surface. Arrives here on the fresh side with four weeks between runs, and this could be a masterstroke at the back end if a turn of foot is required.
3rd Ventura Storm
4th Who Shot Thebarman