Peter Moody’s in-form five-year-old Elusive King has opened favourite for this Saturday’s 2013 Mornington Cup Prelude at Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse after a nice run at Flemington last time out.
The Elusive Quality gelding is one of 12 staying types engaged for the $120,000 Listed National Jockeys’ Trust Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) on the weekend, Elusive King drawn in gate eight with Brad Rawiller in the saddle.
While they haven’t won a race since December of 2011, Elusive King has been racing in nice style this summer including a last-start second to Kuntchinsky in a 2000m handicap at Flemington on January 19.
For that run they were drawn in eight with Rawiller in the saddle and the bookies are tipping them to go one better on Saturday, Elusive King topping the current Mornington Cup Prelude odds at a quote of $4.
It is a tight market for the top four spots however with the other top fancies following closely with:
- #4 Tuscan Fire ($4.80) – Dan O’Sullivan-trained six-year-old in flying form having won both their January starts by 2.5 and 1.5 lengths respectively over 2000m and then 2500m at Flemington, Glen Boss (aboard for those two victories) has the ride again here from gate five and the horse will be sharp dropping back 500m for this
- #8 Westsouthwest ($5 – Drawn on the rails with barrier one Robert Smerdon’s Group 1 peforming Darci Brahma four-year-old comes off a fourth to Kutchinsky in the Piping Lane Handicap (where Elusive King ran second) and that was a big improvement on their earlier runs with the 2000m much nicer for last year’s Queensland Derby third place-getter than the mile
- #7 White Universe ($5.50) – Early money on this Moody-trained Bianconi gelding who was disappointing last time out when seventh in a 1720m open handicap at Flemington, they were wide there however (15 of 16) and so from gate three on Saturday should get a nicer run, the extra distance will also work in their favour
Other notable hopefuls at more generous odds then include Dash For Cash seven-year-old Boom ‘N’ Zoom ($10) who will be fitter one run back and suited to the extra distance here, and the Pat Carey-trained Durnford ($10) who needs to impress here if connections are to continue onto the $350,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) at their home track on February 13.
“The Mornington Cup is on the program, but he’ll need to win his way in,” Carey said of Helenus four-year-old Durnford who at 62 is the lowest rated horse in Saturday’s showdown.
“It’s unlikely he’ll get a run in the Mornington Cup unless he can win Saturday.
“He’s a handy horse, but he’s a restricted horse and he’s got to step up another level to be competitive (this weekend).
“He’s certainly the horse with the job ahead.”
This year’s Mornington Cup winner is exempt from ballot for the coveted $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October making it, and Saturday’s Prelude, a big deal in 2013.
2013 Mornington Cup Prelude Odds
Caulfield Race 5 – 3:25pm (AEST) – 02/02/2013
|1||LUCKY EIGHTY EIGHT (7)||17.00|
|3||BOOM ‘N’ ZOOM (9)||10.00|
|4||TUSCAN FIRE (5)||4.80|
|6||ELUSIVE KING (8)||4.00|
|7||WHITE UNIVERSE (3)||5.50|
|9||SCOTTISH BORDER (10)||41.00|
|10||ROCK MUSICIAN (4)||21.00|
|11||LEONARDO EXPRESS (2)||51.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change