The feature race on the first day of the Scone Carnival is the $200,000.00 Listed Scone Cup over a mile and as always, the race has attracted a competitive field with $6.50 the field available in early markets. Top of the list is Sam Kavanagh’s Tales Of Grimm ($6.50) who if successful, will give the young Rosehill trainer his second Cup this year after Midsummer Sun won his second Gosford Cup earlier this year. He is one of six runners under double figure odds which includes Godolphin’s trio of representatives, Malice, San Diego – both at $8.00, and Medcaut at $11.00. Godolphin won this race last year under the Darley banner when Cameo, ridden by Sam Clipperton who’ll partner San Diego, won at big odds. Kaypers will carry the hopes of the locals as the Greg Bennett trained gelding lines up for his third attempt at his home town cup. Punters aren’t a fan of the third-time-lucky theory though and he’s currently $26.00.
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1. MONTON – T Angland (6) 59kgs
Grand campaigner was excellent first up behind Rugged Cross in a BM 100 (1400m) when caught wide throughout from a poor draw and running sixth (1.2 lengths) in a blanket finish. The 8yo backed that up since by chasing home Pheidon, who led throughout, to run second in Open handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm. Still offering plenty and can run a good race here over mile third up.
2. STRAWBERRY BOY – J Cassidy (7)
Caught right on the line in each of his two starts this year, firstly on the Gold Coast in the Magic Millions Cup when second to Spurtonic early January, and then by a wall of horses in a BM 100 (1400m) when fifth (3/4 of a length) to Rugged Cross at Randwick four weeks ago. That was his first run in three months and his second up record is very strong (6:3-1-1). He’ll take up the running here and there’s not many better judges of pace than Jim Cassidy however, with the big field he’ll be kept honest in front and that may leave him a touch vulnerable late over the mile.
3. PHEIDON – B Shinn (10)
He resumed from a five month spell in an Open company race over a mile on a heavy track at Warwick and the Waterhouse trained gelding made light of the imposing challenge, leading all the way to defeat Rugged Cross and Monton – both of whom are going well. Hard to imagine he has gone backwards since that run and his last start over a mile saw him run sixth, beaten less than two lengths, in the G1 Epsom Handicap won by He’s Your Man. Should be right in the mix.
4. MALICE – J McDonald (4)
Settled well back in last weekend’s Lord Mayor Cup (2000m) but only made marginal ground in the run home, finishing seventh and long way behind Silverball (7.5 lengths). Each of his past two runs have been on Slow rated tracks and he’ll be better suited back on top of the ground. His first run this campaign, where he finished second to Excess Knowledge (Leebaz third), was an indication of what his he is capable of and having drawn to get a sweet run, could be a sharp improver.
5. KOURKAM – B Avdulla (1)
He lined up a leading chance in the Wagga Gold Cup at his most recent outing after having won the Albury Gold Cup five weeks previously. The 5yo imported galloper seem to track up well and peeling to the outside as they turned, supporters would have expected to see more than he actually produced in the run to the line. He finished an unexpected last of sixteen, nine lengths from the winner Landlocked. That run definitely an exception to the rule this preparation and trainer Tony McEvoy is confident he can bounce back but it’ll have to be a sharp and dramatic improvement.
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6. KAYPERS – G Ryan (9)
Locally trained galloper who ran third and sixth in the past two editions of this race and may be prominent again given his fast-finishing second (long neck) in the Tamworth Cup (1400m) late last month under the steadier of 59kgs. Fitter again, has the services of leading country hoop Greg Ryan, who was aboard in his above run as well, and his trainer would dearly love to take out this race.
Finished fourth second up last prep behind Strawberry Boy in a Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m) and rates a sneaky place chance at odds.
7. TALES OF GRIMM – C Williams (3)
Former import galloper who recorded a very impressive win at his first local start for Trainer Sam Kavanagh in a BM 87 (1200m) in February, before running a plain eighth (3.5 length) to San Diego at his next. Freshened up after that run and returned with a more promising seventh (1.6 lengths) to Rugged Cross in a BM 100 (1400m)
Gets to a mile for the first time since being in Australia, a distance he raced over with some success overseas and with improvement off of his first up run, which shapes as one of the better lead up races for this event, could produce a forward showing.
8. SAN DIEGO – S Clipperton (15)
Each of his five runs this campaign have been good and they read well for this particular event. His most recent outing came last week in a BM 95 (1350m) at Rosehill where he finished strongly from near last to run second (1 length) to You’ll Never. Just had to spend some valuable time finding clear room last start and the step up in trip, combined with the big Scone straight; should suit him well.
9. MEDCAUT – C Reith (2)
Impressive winner first up this prep and was winding up strongly second up in a BM 100 (1400m) when third (long neck) to Rugged Cross. With two good runs under his belt, no surprise to see him well in contention for last week’s BM 95 (1350m) at Rosehill but he folded late from his on-pace position in a solidly run race and finished tenth (7.3 lengths) behind You’ll Never. Up to a mile will be more favourable at his stage of his prep and a dry surface would be a welcome change too after competing on slow tracks his last two outings.
10. LUCKY LAGO – T Berry (10)
Doing her best work last when second up at Randwick and finishing eighth (2.4 lengths) behind Rugged Cross in a BM 100m (1400m) before starting a 3/1 chance in an Open Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm last week. The 5yo mare settled in the box seat in the field of eight runners but was lacklustre in the run home, finishing sixth (2.6 lengths) to Pheidon. Has run well in good races previously but it has also been a long time now since she saluted and maybe needs a confidence booster in a race easier than this to get that winning feeling back.
11. EVANGILIST – J Collett (14)
Closed well but was nosed out on the line by Observational in the Listed Bendigo Golden Mile in March before three weeks later, travelling north for the Listed Tails Stakes (1630m) at Doomben. The Tony McEvoy runner was a drifter in betting 15/4 out to 6/1 and ran accordingly, failing to make an impression in the run home from the back of the field and finishing close to ten lengths behind Sir Moments. Given a freshen up since then and stable target country cups across Australia with success but, with only one win from nine Australian starts, that being his first local start in July last year, in a BM 80, would be concentrating on others.
12. DARCI MAGIC – Tim Clark (11)
Made it two wins from three starts this campaign by coming down the outside fence on a wet Randwick track to secure a BM 90 (1600m) from Sense Of Occasion – second to the impressive winner Silverball in last Saturday’s Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup. The Bede Murray trained gelding his going well this time and in perfect order for an attempt at a race such as this. He’ll get to tuck in behind what should be a genuine speed and should measure up to this better class of race well.
13. GREAT ESTEEM – D Beasley (12)
The Snowden Racing runner progressed through the grades well last prep, winning all four of his races culminating in a BM 75 (1800m) when leading throughout to defeat Unique. He returned to racing a fortnight ago at Hawkesbury, competing in the only race to be run that day before the meeting was abandoned, where he led from a wide gate but struggled in the heavy conditions late, finishing fifth (3.9 lengths) to Oxford Poet. Hard to be too critical of him first up but will find this a test from an awkward draw and would think there are easier races than this available to him at the moment.
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14. FRESPONAL – T Huet (8)
Stepped out the 13/4 favourite two starts back in a BM 80 after running a good third first up, but on the heavy conditions the Choisir 4yo couldn’t match it with them in the straight and finished fourth (5.8 lengths) behind Dowdstown Charlie. Competed on wet conditions again when fourth (1.4 lengths) to stable-mate Pheidon at Warwick Farm last week in an Open Handicap (1600m). Needs a firmer footing to produce his best but and was solid behind some in-form gallopers over the summer however, still unproven at this level and rather see him measure up to it first.
15. EXCITED PRINCE – K O’Hara (13)
Jason Coyle’s 5yo gelding ran home well in both a BM 70 (1400m) and BM 75 (1500m) at Warwick Farm and Canterbury to run fourth and second respectively before lining up for the Listed Wagga Gold Cup (2000m). Drawing an inside gate, the son of Excites was third on the fence turning for home and experienced no luck at all getting a run in a bunched field. Never tested at any stage last time out and should’ve finished much closer than the thirteenth (4.2 lengths) placing that he did.
16. ODE TO CAITLIN – D Northey (5)
Returned from a twelve week spell with a seventh at Newcastle in a BM 65 (1600m) followed by, at same venue and grade, a closing fourth (1.4 length) to Uncle Sugar over 1850m. That run was seven weeks ago and hard to see him making the improvement required to win this race during that period of time.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Strawberry Boy and Pheidon come across from gates seven and ten respectively to set the pace and they’ll be kept honest early with several leading chances such favourite Tales Of Grimm, Malice and Medcaut all keen to make use of their good draws. It’s hard to know where to go here with so many boasting legitimate chances but will stick with San Diego. He’ll get a long way back having drawn the widest gate but the above speed and big Scone straight should give his chance. He has been in rock solid form this time in and his past two starts on dry tracks, both over 1500m, have seen him run third (neck) in the G2 Ajax Stakes and seventh, beaten only 2.3 lengths, in the G3 Doncaster Prelude. Thought stable-mate Malice, who ran second in the Doncaster Prelude, gets his chance here on a dry track back to a mile. Last two starts have been over 2000m, on wet tracks, drops 2kgs on each of those races and has drawn the gun alley.
1. SAN DIEGO
3. STRAWBERRY BOY
4. TALES OF GRIMM