Another Group 1 trifecta for Waller in Cup? Last year trainer Chris Waller watched as his two runners, Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman fight out the finished of the Sydney Cup but, like everything Chris Waller is doing this season compared to last, he’s looking to better that result this year and land the trifecta. Both Grand Marshal and Who Shot The Barman are back for this year’s renewal – and are again leading contenders, as well as emerging stayer Libran – with the trio of runners atop of the Cup betting markets. Waller has already landed a Group 1 trifecta this carnival in The BMW and if – as anticipated, one of his runners is successful here – it’ll be his sixteenth winner at the elite level this season.
1. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN – B Shinn (5)
Ran a lip second in this race last year but looks set for redemption after two fantastic Cup trials of late. Stuck on soundly from an on-pace position in the G3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) before pushing stable-mate and in-form galloper Preferment in the G1 BMW Stakes (2400m). The likelihood of a soft track only enhances his already strong chances.
2. ALMOONQITH – J Bowman (12)
Ran last in the Australian Cup two starts back, but given the farcical tempo it was run at, best to overlook his last of ten placing – similarly with his recent sixth (4.8 lengths) in the BMW Stakes. Settled much closer to the speed than expected and had nowhere to go heading into the turn as the leading group started to feel the pinch. Couldn’t get rolling when he needed to last start and last start this trip resulted in a strong win in the Sandown Cup – defeating The Offer and Grand Marshal – last year’s winner of this race.
3. GRAND MARSHAL – J McDonald (6)
No drama’s with last year’s winner of this race running out the two mile – and he’s on track for his defence after a strong third (1.5 lengths) behind Preferment and Who Shot Thebarman in the BMW Stakes. Drops 4kgs on that run – meeting Who Shot Thebarman 2kg better at the weights, and has an excellent record on rain affected tracks.
Will run well.
4. LIBRAN – B Avdulla (3)
Former import who won three on a trot in last week’s G2 Chairman’s (2600m) where he knuckled down late under 58kgs off a slow pace. Excellent effort, especially when considering he drops right down to 53kgs here and this will be a more honestly run race. Gets a great run from his gate and will be right in the mix.
5. AUVRAY – T Berry (8)
Three runs back from an extended spell have produced average results – with the most recent coming in last week’s Chairman’s Handicap where he finished fourth and almost seven lengths from the winner, Libran. The former French galloper has raced successfully over 3000m, winning a G2 and G3 over the trip but not sure he’s back to the level in Australia just yet.
6. DESTINY’S KISS – J Collett (1)
Settled back and the tempo of the race didn’t suit his chances in last week’s G2 Chairman’s Hcp, and finished fifth (6.9 lengths) behind Libran. Was in form earlier this year, winning the Gosford Cup (2100m) and Australia Day Cup (2400m), gets down in the weights for the first time in a long time – won’t be sorry to see the rain come, but just don’t think he’s up to the grade.
7. GALLANTE – K McEvoy (11)
Comes into this off a very unique preparation of only two runs. The first was over a mile, then a month later, he contested the Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill where he led the field and held on for third (2.5 lengths) to Libran. Libran has gone from strength to strength since – has this guy? The former import is untried beyond 2400m but stable is very astute and might be best to keep him safe.
8. CAFÉ SOCIETY –C Schofield (1)
Found Libran too good in the G3 Manion Cup (2400m) two starts back before being caught on the line by the same horse in last week’s G2 Chairman’s Handicap. Led and was allowed to set his own pace last week and now meets Libran 2kg worse. Will try and pinch it here with 51kgs by leading but some in-form and proven gallopers will be doing the chasing.
9. LIKE A CAROUSEL – K O’Hara (7)
Three runs back from a spell have seen the 6yo struggle – the most recent effort seeing him fail to make an impression from the back of the field in the G2 Adelaide Cup (3200m). Only the two wins from his thirty-six starts and highly unlikely to register his third here.
10. DEE I CEE – T Huet (4)
Former New Zealander galloper now with the Waterhouse stable who was the subject of good support in last week’s Chairman’s Handicap (7/1 into 4/1) but never raised his backer’s hopes, finishing second to last and over ten lengths from the winner Libran. Obviously a better run than he produced expected last weekend, but couldn’t suggest he’d be able to turn that margin around in the space of week.
11. BAYANOVA – J Beriman (2)
5yo mare who won her third career start last month, winning a 3000m BM 84 at a mid-week Sandown Meetings. Stable and connections non stranger to success in Sydney during the carnival but even by their standards, appear to be aiming too high here with this girl.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Waller has a hold in this race with Who Shot Thebarman and Libran. Both gallopers have had faultless preparations for this and are guaranteed to run well. Thought we’d see a good run from Almoonqith in the BMW Stakes last start, but he was ridden a little aggressively for mine in the early stages of the race and found trouble on the turn. Happy to overlook that and include him at a good each-way price.
1. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN