Tipping this Saturday’s Christmas Cup 2013 winner in Sydney has become decidedly harder after three early scratchings have left a field of just five runners in the Kensington feature, all of which are battling for favouritsm.
One of the Sydney Summer Racing Carnival staying majors, this year’s $100,000 Listed Inglis Christmas Cup (2400m) has lost some of its appeal with only five left to face off in the fourth race of Villiers Stakes Day.
#5 Frozen Rope, #6 Garud and #7 French Gift have all been withdrawn.
With the long shots out it is now a ridiculously tight Christmas Cup betting market with all the remaining runners at $5.50 or under to win.
Narrow favourite at $3.40 is the Chris Waller-trained Secessio coming off a third in the ATC Cup over 2000m at Rosehill from a fortnight ago.
But can they hold them off and salute for the punters?
While no result will exactly be an upset, those at other end of the market out to defeat the favourite include Secessio’s stablemate Permit ($5.50) and Gerald Ryan’s consistent stayer Martinvast ($5.50).
In the middle then are Waller’s ATC Cup runner-up Hoylonny ($3.50) and Maluckyday ($5) who is best known for their second to Americain in the Melbourne Cup three years ago.
To help you make your selections below are our Christmas Cup tips you can lock in now at Ladbrokes.com.au!
#2 Hoylonny ($3.50)
Don’t think there will be much in it, and they do have to carry 58kg, but think Hoylonny has the class to take this out as they go up in distance, the Lonhro five-year-old seeing the mile and a half for the first time since a failed Australian Derby attempt (10th in 2012), two back won over 1900m at Rosehill and then last time out ran second to Travolta in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m), there they defeated the likes of Secessio (3rd) and Maluckyday (4th) who they meet again on Saturday. Stats say Secessio, our guts are going Hoylonny.
#4 Secessio ($3.40)
Hoylonny’s stablemate to run a close second finishing behind them again like they did in the ATC Cup, on paper though Secessio has the advantage – you’ve been warned – as they have winning form over the distance with their last 2400m run being in July which they won by an easy two lengths carrying 58kg, here they have 57kg which is only half a kilo more than their ATC Cup weight, before that Hoylonny got the better of them again but over more distance they might be able to turn the tables, especially if the rain comes.
#8 Martinvast ($5.50)
Gets in on the 54kg light weight meeting their rivals a minimum three kilos better in the weights which will suit. Have been improving each run and get the chance to step up again here with the French import having their first black type start down under, latest win was over 2200m at Warwick Farm in August carrying 58.5kg, also has good form over 2400m and has seen 2600m so no queries about the distance, come off a close third (half a length off the winner) over the 1800m at this track so know what Kensington’s al about too, that was just last Saturday so do need to handle the short back-up which is seemingly the only bump on their form.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change