Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Today, Friday September 2, a field of quality stayers will face off in the $120,000 Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m), a number of which feature in the 2011 Melbourne Cup nominations that were released yesterday.
The 2011 Wyong Gold Cup, set to run as Wyong Race 7 at 4:05pm, originally attracted a final field of 16.
There are 14 horses still in contention after the early scratchings of #2 Bellagio Wynn and #10 Countcool.
Of the Wyong Gold Cup hopefuls, four were among the 163 early entries taken for the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), the world’s richest two-mile handicap to run at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 1, 2011.
The Wyong Gold Cup starters heading towards the time-honoured Melbourne Cup 2011 are:
- #1 Ironstein (Gerald Ryan)
Wyong Gold Cup odds – $6.50 into $6 Luxbet
Consistent Sydney stayer has a solid record around the Cups circuit including a win in the 2010 Caloundra Cup. More recently they ran third in the Wagga Gold Cup in May before winning the Listed W.J. McKell Cup (2400m) at Rosehill, finishing fourth to Tullamore in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) and then taking out the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm in June. Failed first-up when eighth in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 20, but that was the Heavy track. Has ideal barrier two draw for today, moves onto the rails with the scratchings, Joshua Parr to ride them as the 58kg topweight – the weight they won the Tatt’s Cup under over a shorter trip.
- #4 Viking Legend (Ross Simpson & Tracey Barnes)
Wyong Gold Cup Odds – $11 into $10 Luxbet
Randwick Guineas runner-up last year, had mixed winter form last prep but resumed with an eye-catching fourth beaten only a quarter length by the winner Foreteller in the Premier’s Cup Prelude (1800m) at Rosehill on August 13. Has form over the distance with two Group 1 third place finishes, both behind Monaco Consul in the 2009 Victoria Derby and 2009 Spring Champion Stakes. Tipped to continue in good form this prep.
- #5 Hume (Brian Smith)
Wyong Gold Cup Odds – $7.50 Luxbet
Queensland raider from the stables of Brian Smith, has been thereabouts in their two runs this prep, most recently finishing fifth in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill last Saturday, pulled a little in that run and was looking for more distance which they get on Saturday. Drawn well in gate three (into two) and carries 54.5kg with Jim Byrne in the moutn, a good weight for a horse that has run well with up to 59kg on their back. Group placegetter at Flemington last spring when second behind former Melbourne Cup winner Shocking in the Lexus Stakes (2500m).
- #8 The Verminator (Chris Waller)
Wyong Gold Cup Odds – $7.50 into $6.50 Luxbet
Waller’s imported nicely bred Jeune gelding has continued to show improvement when stepped up in distance over their last two preparations, comes off a third in the Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill last Saturday and is nicely weighted at 53kg. Glyn Schofield rides from gate five, definite chance today and a good roughie pick in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet.
While all four of these horses are well-supported in the Wyong Gold Cup betting odds at Luxbet, race favourite for this afternoon’s showdown is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Essence Of Success.
A market firmer in from their opening Wyong Gold Cup odds of $4.80 to $4.20, Encosta De Lago mare Essence Of Success is a super consistent five-year-old that has won four of their past five starts.
Stepping up to the 2200 metres for the first time last start, Essence Of Success thrived on a Heavy Warwick Farm track on August 20 to claim a one and three quarter length victory.
Another notable Wyong Gold Cup candidate at longer odds that could prove a great value roughie to add into your exotic selections at Luxbet is local hero, Gazza Guru in from $21 to $16.
Prepared by Stephen Farley, Gazza Guru is a stablemate of Stradbroke Handicap winner Sincero.
The Street Cry seven-year-old comes into today’s race with imposing form having won the Graft Cup (1600m) in July before their last-start third in the Coffs Harbour Cup (1600m). Ran sixth to Hawk Island in the race last year, but hasn’t been at the distance since.
Farley is hopeful Gazza Guru can be competitive today and said that a win in his hometown feature would be as good as the Group One victory he enjoyed with Sincero last season.
“It’d be nearly as big as winning the Stradbroke,” Farley said.
“It’d give me a real buzz to win the hometown Cup.”
To view the full Grafton Gold Cup markets for this afternoon’s feature, and to get in on the early Melbourne Cup betting action, visit Luxbet and open your new account with Australia’s premier bookmaker.
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