Jockey Tommy Berry is hoping it will be second time lucky for Older Than Time in the Sydney Cup 2012 at Royal Randwick this Saturday, the five-year-old mare having run a brave second in the autumn classic 12 months ago.
In a Sydney Cup marred by the fall of two horses including the favourite Hawk Island, who is also back looking to atone in 2012, last year the Gai Waterhouse-trained Older Than Time came within a length of Chris Waller’s surprise winner Stand To Gain who is also back to defend their title this weekend.
One of two entries in this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), running as Randwick Race 6 at 3:35pm, for Waterhouse along with Once Were Wild, Older Than Time comes off two good placings behind Saturday’s favourite Permit.
A stablemate to both Hawk Island and Stand To Gain, Permit sits top of the Sydney Cup odds at a quote of $3.40 through bookmaker.com.au.
Further down the Sydney Cup betting markets punters will find Older Than Time at $9.
Older Than Time ran third to Permit two back in the Listed NE Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on March 31 before coming within three quarters of a length to them when a good second last start in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m).
“She ran second to Permit the other day and was quite gallant,” Berry said.
“I think what’s going to suit us is that the other day Permit went to put a couple of lengths on us but kind of only got a length in front and then whacked away like we did.
“I know she will run the trip (3200m) right out (on Saturday).”
Berry remains confident that a Sydney Cup upset result is also not out of Older Than Time’s reach.
“Especially with the way that Gai is going at the moment, anything can happen,” he said.
“Also in Group Ones anything can happen, it’s not always the favourite that wins.
“I’m knocking on the door for a Group One and usually they come unexpectedly so I hope that this is it.
“Neil Paine has been a regular (trackwork) rider on her since she had her first start and he says she’s going better this year than she was last year so I’m confident she’ll run well.
“She’s going really well and I think the 3200 metres is right up her alley, we saw that last year.”
Waterhouse’s other runner Once Were Wild, coming off a Chairman’s Quality 10th, meanwhile pays $26 to win the Sydney Cup.
If either of her hopefuls are successful on Saturday it will be Waterhouse’s sixth Group 1 win for the autumn.
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