Friday, May 2, 2008

WHAB Presents: Your Sydney cup Preview Post

Well, Saturday at Randwick we have another BIG race. The Sydney Cup.

Staying racing in Australia is typically, well... not the best. Generally speaking, it won't be as hard as the Golden Slipper or the Doncaster to rule a line through some of the horses that are racing. It is thus my hope that this thing doesn't become as arduous as the last two big preview posts. Another big hope for us is that we don't end up with no winners between the three of us, yet again. The horror of last week in the past, but not forgotten... and here goes.

The Sydney Cup acheived group one status in 1980. And the Honour Roll, whilst including champions like Makybe Diva, Kingston Town and Tie the Knot also includes a lot of horses that pay homage to the lack of real class in this field in most years.

Take your last three winners; Gallic, County Tyrone and Mahtoum.

You'd love to own them, but you typically don't think about them in the same breath as the Melbourne Cup winners over the same period.

I would love to see old County Tyrone repeat his 2006 success in this race. The much travelled warhorse deserves to be well in the market and would provide a great story if he got up here. No Wine No Song comes in with a striking win last weekend under his belt, and is a deserved favourite. Pentathon has been set for this and been travelling around in better company than this lately. The Fuzz was favourite for this race until his last start disaster. Can he bounce back?? Lacey Underall has had massive wraps as a stayer in the making for a long time - but has become a costly one to follow.

Realistically, one of us should come through with the good oil this week. A dodgy staying affair will hopefully save our flagging reputations...So who you got?

1. County Tyrone 57kg (13)
Price: $11
One Sydney Cup, two Sydney CUPS???

Professor Chaos: Has been prepared for this race, and ONLY this race. 3200 metres is about the only trip that this guy can compete over these days, but my can he compete at this distance. Won here in 2006, has put in some decent runs in the Melbourne Cup in his day. Really can win.

JB: For emotional betters, betting for nostalgia - You will probably see me with something on him come the bell.

Captain Carnage: Grand old stager who has a win, two seconds and a fourth in the five Sydney Cups he has contested. His lead up form is good and is capable in all conditions. It would be nice to see him win and he is a good value at $11. We'll find out tomorrow if time has caught up with him.

2. The Fuzz 56.5kg (4)

Price: $9

Professor Chaos: Looked like he might love the swamp at Rosehill his last time out, and then - well, didn't. Was well beaten (26 Lengths!!!) there. Scratched from last years Melbourne Cup, so we have never seen him attempt this distance. I had him down as a lightweight hope in the Melbourne Cup last year. So on that he has to be in with a chance. With the second top weight here and last starts disaster though, you have to be a little wary.

JB: Price hardly reflects the risk.

Captain Carnage: Repeating my general rule, I can't back a horse with such a bad run in it's lead up. And his was a real stinker when everything pointed to him being a mudlark. Must be something wrong that the vet's haven't picked up as he is far better than that. Here, given the circumstances and the fact he is untried and a query over the trip, he is entitled to be at much longer odds.

3. Pentathon 56.o kg (6)
Price: $6

Professor Chaos: Another one of these that has been crying out for the extra trip. Came from last to 5th behind Tuesday Joy in the BMW. Looks to be a serious stayer... Hard not to be excited by his prospects on Saturday. Will get a big pull in the weights against the Chieftain and No Wine No Song as opposed to two starts back.

JB: Not going to be my horse on the day.

Captain Carnage: A genuine stayer who gets a bit of relief in the weights. Likes it wet and dry and his run was super behind Tuesday Joy but his run was far from super in the Auckland Cup over the same trip. Can be a bit up and down. A winning chance but not sure the $6 is great value.

4. Lazer Sharp 55.5 kg (17)
Price: $26

Professor Chaos: Basing your opinion on current form, you must think that the Sharpy is hard to have. Didn't handle the conditions last start, and was looking like he was building to something before that.

JB: Not this horse, not this race.

Captain Carnage: Hmm, a horse definitely capable of greeting the judge here even without an eyecatcher in his runs leading into this. Was a very credible 10th in last year's Melbourne Cup, so the ability is there; the only question is whether he can put it together tomorrow. Probably a better horse the Melbourne way of going but one I'll be throwing into my multi's.

5. No Wine, No Song 55.5 kg (9)
Price: $4.60

Professor Chaos: Looks almost bombproof for this one. Last three starts on differing conditions have been exceptional. Will likely get the trip without too many concerns. Handled the heavy better than the rest last week which may have skewed the result a bit. Will, at the very least make you feel like a winner at some point.

JB: Deserved favourite, definitely at the top of the list.

Captain Carnage: Favourite for the Cup after his strong win in the Chairman's and rightly so. Couple with that the fact he was third in this race last year and is no doubt over the trip, has likely improved since then and handles all conditions it's hard to see him not being in the finish. The one to beat.

6. Young Centaur 55.0 kg (1)
Price: $12

Professor Chaos: If you look at the last run, it is a pretty strong set of credentials that the Centaur brings into this race. Got back and made a lot of late ground on the Cheiftain and No Wine in the Manion. Has won over the trip once from two starts and encountered a bog in the other start which doesn't look like his go. Well Weighted... good chance.

JB: Plenty to fancy at $12, will have to factor

Captain Carnage: On face value I thought his Auckland Cup run was disappointing but his stats suggest he likes it no worse than dead which may bring him into play. His run in the Manion was solid and he meets The Chieftain 3.5kg's better. Should run the trip right out and is one of the better fancies.

7. Red Lord 54.5 kg (14)

Price: $9

Professor Chaos: Has strong claims but at $9 I don't think that I can buy into the Red Lord story. At longer odds, I prefer the Centaur, the COUNT and the FUZZ.

JB: Not a story I'll be reading this weekend.

Captain Carnage: When a horse is at $9, he needs it dry and I have a distance query on him to run a strong two miles in Group 1 company then I would conclude that he's no value whatsoever. Sure his last run can be put down to the conditions but all the same, it was far from an ideal preparation. Prefer others at better odds.

8. Exinite 54 kg (15)

Price: $14

Professor Chaos: If you can't shop better than $14 about Exinite on raceday there is something seriously wrong. In his favour, he made excellent late ground last start. Coming from the tail of the field. Obviously looks like 3200 metres will be a laugh but whether he can get it done remains to be seen.

JB: Not in this class.

Captain Carnage: Not convinced he'll get the time to win the race. Looks to be thereabouts a lot without looking like winning. Meets No Wine No Song 3kg's worse for being beaten 3.6 lengths. Not keen at $14.

9. Grand Destiny 54kg (14)

Price: $41

Professor Chaos: Following a less travelled road to the Sydney Cup. Defeated the handy stayer Tails of Triomphe at Caulfield over near enough to 2400 (What kind of retarded distance is 2394??? Fuck you Caulfield). Then came out won at Flemington over 2500. Beating: ELWOOD! As soon as I saw that I started humming blues brothers shit. Awesome. $41 is Juicy for a horse that has had a pretty fine run to this. Will be investing in some way.

JB: I got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, its dark and I'm wearing sunglasses - HIT IT.

Captain Carnage: An interesting runner, well worth making the trip north for connections with the Sydney Cup not usually being a star-studded field. Showed his mastery at the specialist distance of 2394m and backed that up with another win over the more mundane distance of 2500m. It would have been nice to see him run the Sydney way before this race but still the $41 doesn't look the silliest of bets. Each way chance.

10. Lacey Underall 54.0 kg (10)
Price: $13

Professor Chaos: I have been hearing a lot about this horse and it's potential as a stayer for a long time. Never quite put it together in a Melbourne Campaign last spring. But has come back this year to win an Adelaide Cup over this trip and was probably the owner of the best late sectionals in the Manion. My top pick.

JB: Plenty to like, will struggle against the likes of the wine song.

Captain Carnage: Hard to knock a horse with a win over the two miles and meets The Chieftain 2kg's better in the weights on the Manion run. Is sure to be among the fittest in the field but a poorly timed downpour will surely ruin her chances. If the track totally dries out she's a big chance.

11. Lang 54.0 (3)

Price: $26

Professor Chaos: If the Clubber couldn't do any better than 2.7 L fifth on his much loved heavy last week, he won't win this.

JB: Pass

Captain Carnage: The wetter the better for this fellow. Doubt he has the class despite a big finish at his last run. However, is another one that meets No Wine No Song worse in the weights. Others seem to offer more than he does for his $26.

12. Resolution 54.0 kg (12)
Price: $11

Professor Chaos: Talking bout a Resolution... Your best run in the Chairmans. Give him a dry track over 3200?? Could do anything. Has had so few runs on dry tracks over any meaningful trip.. it makes it hard to say whether he wants the sting out of the ground or not.

JB: Keep talking, it won't happen this weekend

Captain Carnage: Although it's hard to fathom a horse who has only won one race winning a Group 1 he has good form over the distance and comfortably beat home Young Centaur and Pentathon. Nice run in the Chairman's but will concede 2kg's to the winner there. Should be fit and hitting the line hard. Rain will aid his cause. A chance.

13. Sir James 54.0 kg (7)
Price: $23

Professor Chaos: Hard for me to enthuse. Didn't run on too much in the Chairmans. You know that someone will give you that Cummings factor crap. That's why he is shorter than he should be.

JB: Bart Cummingsblah blah blah ...

Captain Carnage: Like Exinite, looks like he'll get the trip but not quick enough to be winning a Sydney Cup. Always thereabouts, 3 or 4 lengths behind No Wine No Song (who has less weight here). Find others more appealing.

14. Tails of Triomphe 54.0 kg (8)
Price: $31

Professor Chaos: Another one that is great value. Was just warming up in the Chairmans when he crossed the line. Has shown that 3200 will suit. Great value.

JB: Not this race.

Captain Carnage: Another Melbourne visitor capable of running a cheeky race. Somehow carries the same weight as Lacey Underall after the third in the Adelaide Cup, where they also carried the same weight. Add this one to the long list that meet said Chairman's winner worse at the weights. A place chance.

15. The Chieftain 54.0 kg (11)
Price: $17

Professor Chaos: Wants it bone dry does the Chieftain. Hard to knock anything about his form leading into last week. Wants it bone dry.

JB: You know who also likes the bone - the professor, all night long. In this race expect the Chief to be giving it from behind the top three.

Captain Carnage: Now let's not get personal lads. These inconsistent horses drive me crazy. Spanked one week, wins the Manion the next week, only to pantsed albeit on heavy ground soon after. Anything dead or better and he's got to be a real knockout chance. Possibly a distance query. Possibly not. And need I say it, the weight turnaround with the favourite is 3.5kg not to the good. On his Manion run has the ability so he goes into the exotics.

16. Play Me 52.5 (2)
Price: $71

Professor Chaos: Hard to enthuse. The good run behind Sky Biscuit is okay for easier.

JB: Pass

Captain Carnage: Doesn't appear to have the strongest formlines. Untried at the distance and I have a question mark right there. At that price is sure to attract the attention of any trackside hen's party punters to the tune of a buck each way.

17. Philosophe
Price: EM.

The GOOD oil:

Professor Chaos: I walked into this preview honestly thinking that his $50 would be best spent on No Wine, No Song and leaving it at that. Then I thought that you couldn't knock Pentathon.. Right now, I am looking at three horses that I think are phenomenal chances. Pentathon - set for this and will relish the 3200. The other two that I can't get past are Lacey Underall and Resolution. Both put in booming runs in their last starts and you have to think that they will be hard to hold out in the shadow of the post. If you want some rough hopes, then how can you go past Grand Destiny and Tails of Triomphe??

No wine no song is a very hard horse to top in this, so I am nowhere near writing it off but I think that there is a lot of better value floating around. Would love to see the COUNT salute.. one of my favourite horses.

The real spanner in the works could come from No Wine No Song getting to walk out front. Lazer Sharp and Play me are the only obvious leaders and if they are allowed to walk, then No Wine No Song could be nigh on untouchable.

1. Lacey Underall

2. Young Centaur

3. No Wine, No Song

4. Grand Destiny

5. Pentathon

Others of note are Lazer Sharp, Tails of Triomphe, Resolution.

JB: The more you look into it the less there is to look for. No Wine No Song will be receiving the bulk of the funds on the nose with an each way flutter on Young Centaur and Grand Destiny. Now excuse me while I kiss the sky.

Captain's Catch:

Consistency; tick. Distance; tick. Track; tick. Conditions; tick. Weighted to win; tick. It's No Wine No Song to win. My selections:

1. No Wine No Song
2. Grand Destiny
3. Young Centaur
4. Lacey Underall (to be replaced by Lazer Sharp if wet)

Working around these five with The Chieftain in trifecta and first four betting.

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