The festive season gets into full swing at Rosehill Racecourse this Saturday with the running of the Christmas Cup 2011, in-form Melbourne raider Sea Galleon opening favourite in the markets for the Sydney summer showdown.
An 11-horse field remains engaged for the $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m), scheduled as Rosehill Race 6 at 4:25pm (local time), following the early scratching of 2009 winner #3 Scouting Wide.
Following the withdrawal of Scouting Wide from Christmas Cup contention, Luxbet have readjusted odds on the feature with last year’s SA Derby third placegetter Sea Galleon firming in from $3.20 to $2.90 to score their third win on the trot.
Prepared by Cranbourne-based father-daughter training team Colin and Cindy Alderson, Galileo five-year-old Sea Galleon earned a trip to Sydney for the summer feature after impressive wins at Moonee Valley and Sandown last month.
With rainy conditions in New South Wales, things work even more in Sea Galleon’s favour heading into their Christmas Cup test.
Rosehill is currently rated a Heavy (8) and with the forecast being for more wet weather, a track upgrade before Saturday looks unlikely.
This is just fine for Sea Galleon who won the Aquanas Foods Handicap (2040m) on a Slow (6) Moonee Valley circuit on November before putting a minimum four lengths on their rivals in the D’urban Handicap (2400m) on a Heavy (8) track at Sandown last start on November 26.
Saturday will be the horse’s first test running clockwise, and a good showing will see the Alderson’s consider pressing onto a Sydney – Brisbane Cup campaign in 2012.
“This certainly is a test for the Sydney and Brisbane Cups for him,” Cindy Alderson said.
“All the reports that we have had form his track riders say he is a natural over the reverse way of going.”
The $500,00 Group 1 Sydney Cup will be held over the two-miles (3200m) at Randwick on April 28 while the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) is scheduled to run on June 9 at Eagle Farm during the 2012 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Following Sea Galleon in the Christmas Cup betting markets at Luxbet is then Peter Snowden’s Dubai Destination four-year-old Yulalona at $3.80.
Yulalona was last seen running a brave second when beaten just a quarter length by Zara Dancer in the Listed Frank Underwood Cup (1900m) on a Slow (7) Canterbury track a fortnight ago.
Their Heavy track form is one of the most imposing of the field, the gelding having had four starts on Heavy going posting one win, a second and a third, the victory being on a Heavy (8) Randwick track over 2000 metres back in May when they carried 57kg – they have just 53.5kg on Saturday.
There are two other runners at single figures in the Christmas Cup odds with John Thompson’s last-start Frank Underwood Cup fourth placegetter Count Encosta ($8 Luxbet) and Garry Frazer’s Scottish Border ($9 Luxbet) who finished one better than Count Encosta in the Frank Underwood.
Other notable hopes include the Chris Waller-trained stayer Strike One ($10) who has a solid wet weather record, Gai Waterhouse’s rejuvenated six-year-old Merensky Reef ($13) and Domesday four-year-old Nextanix ($14).
Punters can find the latest Christmas Cup fixed win odds below courtesy of Luxbet.
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2011 Christmas Cup Odds
Rosehill Race 6 – 10/12/2011
|1||SOLID BILLING (7)||18.00 Luxbet|
|2||STRIKE ONE (10)||10.00 Luxbet|
|3||SCOUTING WIDE (11)||–|
|4||COUNT ENCOSTA (2)||8.00 Luxbet|
|5||YULALONA (6)||3.80 Luxbet|
|6||GAZZA GURU (3)||35.00 Luxbet|
|7||SCOTTISH BORDER (9)||9.00 Luxbet|
|8||SEA GALLEON (5)||2.90 Luxbet|
|9||MERENSKY REEF (1)||13.00 Luxbet|
|10||ASSERTIVE BILLY (11)||26.00 Luxbet|
|11||NEXTANIX (8)||14.00 Luxbet|
|12||SHADOW MINISTER (4)||61.00 Luxbet|
*Fixed Win odds correct at time of publication – see Luxbet for updates and to bet now!