Trade Commissioner and Beyond Thankful ran one-two in last year’s Wagga Gold Cup and their trainer Chris Waller, is poised to figure prominently again in this year’s edition of the Listed 2000m feature come Friday. Trade Commission started the $2.70 last year and after producing two runs promising runs back from a disappointing spring campaign, has been an early firmer in betting markets, $10 into $7. Waller’s other runner in this year’s race is Our Voodoo Prince at $6. Early favourite is last-start winner of the Frank Packer Plate, Gypsy Diamond ($3.00). The four year old from the Snowden Racing establishment has been assigned top-weight of 58kgs, a weight last carried to victory by Fooram in 2007 and Natural Blitz in 2005. The only other runner under double figure odds is Tony McEvoy’s Kourkam ($6.00).
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1. GYPSY DIAMOND – S Clipperton (9) 58kgs
She was fair late in a leader dominated race when ninth (5.9 lengths) behind Amanpour and Catkins in the G1 Queen Of The Turf before appreciating the step up to 2000m and finishing strongly through the centre of the field from near last on the turn to win the JRA Plate (2000m) a fortnight ago, beating Leebaz, who won last week’s Gold Coast Hollindale Stakes by a comfortable margin. Very solid record this time in and appears to be back to the form that made her one of the leading fillies of her generation last season.
2. OUR VOODOO PRINCE – T Angland (7)
After a couple of disappointing runs back from a spell, it appeared the 7yo had turned it around when second to Pornichet in the G3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) but wasn’t able to back that up at his following start, finishing eighth (5 lengths) behind Gypsy Diamond. Can be a little bit forgiving last start on rain-effected track on the worse part of the track and on his best Australian form, he’d go close here however, it is hard to tip him with any confidence this time in.
3. KOURKAM – K McEvoy (15) 57.5kgs
Winner of the Albury Gold Cup (2000m) at his most recent start, which was a month ago now, producing a sweeping run around the field from the 600m and seeing out the trip strongly, defying Verdant by half a length. Scratched from the JRA Plate won by Gypsy Diamond due to the wet track, but was a well-supported commodity in pre-post betting for that race. Likely to have more than his share of admirers again here despite the 3.5kgs increase and wide draw.
4. FAUST – B Avdulla (5) 55.5kgs
Winner of the Listed Canberra Cup three starts back, the Kurt Goldman trained galloper has had his opportunity in both runs since – Manion Cup (2400m) and Albury Gold Cup (2000m) but has failed to capitalise on his position in those race, finishing seventh in each event. Ran eleventh in this race last year with stronger lead up form and needs to make a significant turn-around to be figuring in the finish here.
5. TRADE COMMISSIONER – B Shinn (14) 55.5kgs
Last year’s winner of the Wagga Gold Cup (carrying 56.5kgs and starting the $2.70 fav), failed to live up to expectations during his spring campaign but two runs back from a spell this time in have been far more promising. Finished a close up ninth (2.6 lengths) first up in the G3 Victorian Handicap (1400m) before finding traffic at his following start, the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) when seventh (2.1 lengths) to Amorino. Steps up sharply to 2000m now but record at this trip is very solid and has shown enough at each of his two runs back to warrant some serious consideration.
6. LANDLOCKED – G Boss (11) 54.5kgs
The 8yo gelding made it two wins in a row with a length victory in the Country Cup at this track and distance at his most recent start, his fifth win from ten starts for Queanbeyan trainer Joe Cleary. Adding further credit to his recent efforts have been the big weights he’s been assigned, he won’t know himself here with only 54.5kgs on his back. With Glenn Boss to steer, he has to rate a legitimate each-way chance.
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7. COURT CONNECTION – (19) 54.5kgs
We have to troll back to 2013 to find this 8yo gelding’s last win, the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m). The son of Lonhro has been set a task by trainer Kurt Goldman, tackling this race first up from a fourteen week spell and although he ran third first up last prep in the Goulburn Cup, he’ll find it extremely hard to better that effort from such a wide draw.
8. JO JO GIRL – T Berry (16) 54.5kgs
Experienced a horror run in the Albury Gold Cup (2000m) two starts back and dropped out in the straight to run tenth before a much improved effort when a luckless fifth (1.5 lengths) in the Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m). Found plenty of traffic in the straight last time out and with clear running, could easily be coming off a win. Drops from 59kgs to 54.4kgs here but the step up in class and wide draw, would mean she’d need some rain to fall to help her overcome both.
9. PRICE OF GLORY – R Bensley (7) 54.5kgs
Returned from a spell with a solid fifth (4.8 lengths) when coming from last, in the Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m) before another solid effort in the Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m) last start. He was wide, with cover, before moving into the race strongly rounding the turn and briefly hitting the front halfway down the stretch. Being second up and under 59kgs, he felt the pinch late and finished third (1 lengths) behind It’s A Virtue and Cardiff Prince. Looks well prepared third up with light-weight, to put forward another showing here.
10. CARDIFF PRINCE – M Cahill (13) 54.5kgs
Third last when turning for home last start in the Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m) but with a clear run, wound up strongly to hit the locked with It’s A Virtue. That win, albeit it shared, continued his good form which has seen the 5yo gelding improve with each outing and win three of his last six starts. Going well enough to have a crack at this race and will be doing best work late.
11. DEVISED – D Beasley (4) 54.5kgs
Stepped out for the first time this year with an admirable fifth (3.1 lengths) in the Albury Gold Cup (2000m). A locally trained galloper that can only be better for his last run and he finished fifth (4 lengths) behind Trade Commissioner in this race last year where coincidentally, he also jumped from barrier four. It will take a smart effort though, from both trainer and horse, to win this race second up.
12. RING DA BELLE – B Loy (2) 54.5kgs
Found herself awkwardly positioned as the 13/4 favourite in the Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m) and in desperate need for a run as they turned for home. She only got clear late and hit the line well for eighth (2.4 lengths) behind the dead-heated pair of It’s A Virtue and Cardiff Prince. It was a similar case at her next and most recent start, the Country Cup this track/dist, finding plenty of backsides in the straight before closing strongly late for second (length) to Landlocked. Needs a change of luck and should it come, can ran a place better than her current odds would suggest.
13. EXCITED PRINCE – J. Collett (3) 54.5kgs
Picked run home along the fence two runs back to run fourth (2.8 lengths) to Song And Laughter in a BM 70 (1400m) at Warwick Farm before running second to Crown Moss in a BM 75 (1550m). Had his chance last time out, which was only last week, and somewhat surprising to see him having a crack at this race given he hasn’t been past a mile previously.
14. IT’S A VIRTUE – B Ward (8) 54.5kgs
Tracked into the race nicely two starts back, the Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m), and after presenting well at the top of the straight, held on to dead-heat with Cardiff Prince. The Starcraft 6yo wasn’t as strong though at his following start, the Country Cup (2000m), and from last on the turn, batted home to run seventh (5.1 lengths) behind Landlocked. Carries the same weight as last start and needed to see more from him late before being included among the better hopes here.
15. SAND DUNE – S Miller (6) 54.5kgs
Winner of the Corowa Cup (1600m) a handful of starts back but has been well accounted for in both the Albury Gold Cup and Gundagai Cup at his following starts, running last and fifth respectively. Had his final hit-out in the Murrumbidgee Cup as a 25/1 shot but had no luck at all from his position on the leader’s back and should’ve gone close to placing instead of finishing tenth (2.6 lengths) in a blanket finish. Has only won two of his past twenty-four starts and they both came at Cowra.
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16. YET TOBE CONVINCED – K O’Hara (18) 54.5kgs
Drew wide and pushed forward to cart the field up to tear-away leader when having her third start this campaign in the Country Cup (2000m) but no surprisingly, felt the pinch late and battled into sixth spot (4.6 lengths). He won’t get any easier time of it from gate eighteen and hard to see her winning this race from out there.
17. HEYSEN – A Bloomfield (10) 54.5kgs (1st EM)
Finished a well beaten third (6 lengths) behind Landlocked at Gundagai in two starts back and was only holding his ground over the final stages when contesting the Country Cup (2000m), crossing the line in eighth (5.4 lengths) again, to Landlocked. Cannot see him turning the tables on that horse, let alone a few others here.
18. THE BOONDOCK SAINT – (17) 54.5kgs (2nd EM)
The 8yo gelding tried to pinch the Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m) two starts back, establishing a big lead heading into the turn but the son of Choisir, who’ll be having start number ninety-five on Friday, folded and finished second to last. He then dropped back in distance (1400m), and made steady ground from last to run eighth. Not going well enough to win this race.
19. MR SOMMERVILLE – (12) 54.5kgs (3rd EM)
Recorded his third career win, at start number twenty-three, last time out in a Class 2 at Wagga but can’t see how that win will be good enough to win at this level.
RACE OVERVIEW –
It is interesting to note that the last three winners of this race, Trade Commissioner, Scream Machine and Coliseo have all come from well back on the turn. With a big field ensuring a solid pace and no shortage of runners who like to finish their races off strongly, there are plenty of runners to choose from. Thought Trade Commissioner’s two runs back have been excellent given the limited amount of luck he has had in both. Two runs back over a 1400m stepping up to 2000m, should suit him well and for the winner of this race last year, he appears very well weighted. On weights, 58kgs is as much as Gypsy Diamond would want but her recent form and that around this distance race is very strong for a race such as this. Kourkam’s win in the Albury Gold Cup was very strong. Stable have a fantastic record in these Country Cups and whilst the month between runs is a concern, at each-way odds of $6.00, would be prepared to overlook that factor. Happy to work around the leading contenders but for some value in the race – Landlocked, Ring Da Belle Cardiff Prince, Price Of Glory could be included.
1. TRADE COMMISSIONER
3. GYPSY DIAMOND