This Sunday Ballarat Racecourse will come to life hosting one of the final black-type staying showdowns of the year, the Ballarat Cup 2011, acceptances for which were taken by Racing Victoria on Thursday.
A near-capacity field of 17 stayers make up the final field for the $150,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) this year, the handicap feature to run as Ballarat Race 8 at 4:12pm (local time) on Sunday.
To wear the No. 1 saddlecoth as the 59kg topweight of the 2011 Ballarat Cup field is Peter Moody’s recent stable acquisition Rothera.
Formerly prepared by young Queensland horseman Ben Currie, six-year-old Rothera joined Moody’s operation in early October and finally returned to form with a smart win in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown last Saturday.
Drawn midfield in barrier eight with Luke Nolen engaged, Rothera faces a tough task with the weight as they see the 2200 meters for the first time.
The next heaviest-weighted Ballarat Cup hopefuls this year are the now Luke Oliver-trained import Illustrious Blue in barrier two as they debut for their new trainer and Michael Moroney’s Queensland Cup winner Tinseltown in barrier 10, both with 58kg.
Other gallopers that drew double-digits for Sunday include the Robert Smerdon-trained Paddy O’Reilly (barrier 17) coming off a third to Ironstein in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on November 5, Group 2 Matriarch Stakes runner-up last time out Stole (barrier 11), Ken Keys’ Cranbourne Cup conqueror Boom ‘N’ Zoom (barrier 11) and the fellow Keys-trained last-start Flemington winner Musical Hit (barrier 12).
Horses that fared better in the Ballarat Cup barrier draw that come right into contention are the Michael Kent-trained duo of Red Buttons (barrier three) and Domesky (barrier six), Kent seeking his second Ballarat Cup win in as many years after My Bentley took out the feature last year; and the Pat Carey-trained Eclipse Stakes third placegetter Ulundi to get the gun run from gate four.
See below for the full 2011 Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup field, barriers, weights and jockeys.
2011 Ballarat Cup Final Field, Barriers & Weights
Ballarat Race 8 – 20/11/2011
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||X891X79901||ROTHERA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||8||59kg||104|
|2||5X060X9600||ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (GB)||Luke Oliver||Jamie Mott||2||58kg||102|
|3||07F2631XL8||TINSELTOWN (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Ms Lisa Cropp||10||58kg||102|
|4||3411X99273||PADDY O’REILLY (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Craig Newitt||17||56.5kg||99|
|5||31488X7140||BOOM ’N’ ZOOM||Ken Keys||Lincoln Coffey||11||56kg||98|
|6||4956X00426||RED BUTTONS||Michael Kent||Dean Yendall||3||55.5kg||97|
|7||109X573702||DOMESKY||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||6||55kg||95|
|8||123X062420||FOXHAM||Tony McEvoy||Ms Michelle Payne||1||53.5kg||89|
|9||40135X4002||STOLE (NZ)||Brian Jenkins||–||14||53.5kg||89|
|10||8X000X6450||CHARTREUX||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||7||53.5kg||86|
|11||X080X09035||APPREHEND||Tony Vasil||Jordan Mallyon (a)||16||53.5kg||85|
|12||3X2053X441||MUSICAL HIT||Ken Keys||Dwayne Dunn||12||53.5kg||85|
|13||79126X1519||SEAN BAILE MOR||Todd Balfour||Jake Noonan (a)||15||53.5kg||82|
|14||9890X56183||NIPTIOUS||Danny Curran||Craig Robertson||9||53.5kg||80|
|15||631X581033||ULUNDI||Pat Carey||Chris Symons||4||53.5kg||78|
|16||1X20160X18||NOBLE DESTINY||Todd Balfour||Thomas Sadler (a)||5||53.5kg||66|
|17||9353424333||DORSODURO||Kelvin Bourke||Jacob Rule (a)||13||53.5kg||64|