Two stayers are currently battling for favouritism for Friday’s 2013 Wagga Wagga Gold Cup with the Chris Waller-trained top weights Illo and Moriarty sitting one two in the markets.
Set to run as Race 7 at 4:2pm (AEST) the $140,000 Listed Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) originally drew a final field of 16 starters plus four emergencies.
Two of those emergencies, Falklands and Fabriano, have earned a start in the showdown however following the early scratching of #7 Whisper Downs and #16 Al Ahmar.
Sydney premiership winning trainer Waller looks to have a stranglehold on this year’s race meanwhile as he saddles up the top two fancies in the current Wagga Gold Cup odds with recent stable acquisition Illo ($5) sitting just ahead of Moriarty ($5.50).
Tertullian stallion Illo has had just the one run for Waller having previously been prepared by Bart Cummings.
A disappointment for connections failing to run a place in all but two of their first 11 starts in Australia, the seven-year-old showed good improvement first-up for Waller on April 13 in Sydney when third to Skyerush in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1600m).
They go up to a more favourable 2000m on Friday and despite having to lump the 58kg top weight are still considered the horse to beat with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
“I’ve won three Town Plates at Wagga but the Wagga Cup is a race I’d love to win,” Bowman said.
“Illo looks well placed to me.
“Reading between the lines I think Chris has targeted this race for the owners who come from down that way.
“Illo has a good weight, a good barrier (five) and he gave me a really good feel in the trial the other day.
“At this point it all looks good.
“He might just have a class edge on them. That’s the way I’m thinking anyhow.”
Following closely is then Clodovil five-year-old Moriarty who will carry the second heaviest weight (57.5kg).
Winner of the Tattersall’s Cup – Gosford Cup double over 2000m and 2100m respectively during the summer, Moriarty resumed with a fifth in the Doncaster Prelude when drawn in barrier 15 of 17 and is another that will relish getting back up over a trip.
Waller’s Racing Manager Liam Prior confirmed Morarity would be at Wagga on Friday despite having also been accepted for the Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury on Saturday, and was very confident both they and Illo were in top form to snare the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup quinella.
“Both are at very similar stages of their preparation, second up and there wasn’t too much between them at their first up runs and trials subsequent to that,” he said.
“Both have impressed us since spelling and they should be in it at the business end.
“These would be the best two horses we’ve brought to a Wagga Cup. It’s the most prestigious country Cup and we’re very keen to win it.”
Two other Wagga Wagga Gold Cup hopefuls are also under $10 in the markets with Auld Burns ($7.50) and Maules Creek ($9).
The David Hayes-trained grey Auld Burns has been building up to a feature race win over the past copule of months, an early March win at Flemington followed by two good second place finishes over 2000m in Melbourne.
Redoute’s Choice five-year-old Maules Creek had a number of below par runs at Group level in Sydney earlier in the autumn, including a distant 12th in the Doncaster Prelude, but looked better in the mud at Randwick on April 20 when a credible fourth to Kelinni in the Listed JRA Plate (2000m).
Other notable chances at better odds worth a look in for an upset then include High Chaparral five-year-old Single ($10) who is desperate to finally find a firm track, stakes performing mare Crafty Irna ($13) and specialist over the 2000m Scream Machine ($13).
See below for the complete Wagga Wagga Gold Cup 2013 odds, prices available online now at bookmaker.com.au who are matching the first deposits of new customers dollar for dollar as bonus bets up to $500 this autumn!
2013 Wagga Wagga Gold Cup Odds
Wagga Race 7 – 4:20pm (AEST) – 03/05/2013
|3||CRAFTY IRNA (18)||13.00|
|5||COURT CONNECTION (1)||17.00|
|6||MAULES CREEK (11)||9.00|
|7||WHISPER DOWNS (14)||Scratched|
|8||AULD BURNS (16)||7.50|
|10||SCREAM MACHINE (17)||13.00|
|12||GAZZA GURU (6)||34.00|
|14||MINNI DOWNS (13)||19.00|
|16||AL AHMAR (19)||Scratched|
|19e||SETTA ROCKS (8)||51.00|
|20e||PRICE OF GLORY (9)||81.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change