Leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse will now begin preparations with her improving mare Older Than Time to tackle the $500,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at the Royal Randwick on April 23 after the four-year-old won at Rosehill today.
Don Eduardo four-year-old Older Than Time chased down runaway leader Luen Yat Forever to score a gritty win in the $100,000 Listed Sky High Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill’s Coolmore Classic Day.
The hard-fought victory was the first black-type run for Older Than Time, Waterhouse tipping the winner as a genuine stayer that will now head towards the 2011 Sydney Cup.
There are currently 87 horses nominated for the Sydney Cup, one of the last true two-mile events on the Australian Horse Racing Calendar along with the annual Melbourne Cup.
Waterhouse has five Sydney Cup nominees including Older Than Time.
Her other hopefuls are Descarado, King Lionheart, Lorne Dancer and Once Were Wild.
Before Older Than Time took out the Sky High today, High Chaparral four-year-old and reigning Caulfield Cup winner Descarado was the early Sydney Cup betting favourite.
When the futures 2011 Sydney Cup odds opened at Luxbet last week, Descarado started at the top of the markets paying $5 to win.
Today, however, Descarado was beaten by $101 outsider and upset winner Zavite in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and could possibly drift in their Sydney Cup odds as a result.
Anthony Cummings’ Zabeel eight-year-old Zavite is also among the Sydney Cup nominations, but connections are first targeting the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day, Saturday April 2.
One of the double-figure roughies in the first Sydney Cup odds, Older Than Time is sure to shorten in the quote after winning the Sky High.
The 2011 Sydney Cup final field of acceptances is due for release on Tuesday April 19 and will be published here first at Races.com.au.