The Lloyd Williams-owned six-year-old C’est La Guerre has overtaken fellow imported stayer and stablemate Mourayan as the favourite for this year’s Sydney Cup.
Shinko King gelding C’est La Guerre has been backed in from $6.50 to $6 to break their Group 1 hoodoo in Australia and take out the $500,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick’s closing Sydney Autumn Carnival meet on Saturday.
Five runs into their preparation this season, C’est La Guerre most recently ran third beaten two lengths by fellow Sydney Cup rival Once Were Wild in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick on Derby Day.
C’est La Guerre has drawn barrier nine in the 16 starter plus one emergency Sydney Cup field and is due to be ridden by Michael Rodd.
The Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at October last year was C’est La Guerre’s sole victory in Australia but the well-bred stayer tasted Group 1 glory in the 2008 New Zealand Derby.
The fellow Robert Hickmott-trained Mourayan sits as the $6.50 second favourite for the Sydney Cup while Williams’ third runner Muir is rated a $13 chance.
“It seems as if this could be a fast-run Cup in contrast to other years with Once Were Wild and Muir in the race,” TAB’s Glenn Munsie said.
“Both have won distance races by leading all the way – Muir over 3200 metres in the Adelaide Cup and Once Were Wild in the Chairman’s Handicap.
“C’est La Guerre couldn’t get a clear run in the Chairman’s and with the genuine speed in the Cup it should suit him.”
Another runner at single figure odds to become the Sydney Cup winner is the Chris Waller-trained Hawk Island.
“This should be a truly run affair with a number of horses looking to push forward,” Luxbet’s Paul Vincent said.
“This will benefit Hawk Island who impressed last week lumping 61kg to victory and the step up to 3200m should be of no concern.
“C’est La Guerre is the main danger and another who will be running home strongly and is well suited to the open stretches of Randwick.”