There may only be eight in the field for Saturday’s BTC Cup 2014 at Doomben, but the winter sprint classic still features a class line-up and the Races.com.au tips for the showdown are listed below.
Running as Doomben Race 7 at 3:40pm (AEST) this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Bunderberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) looks to be Buffering’s for the taking if the markets are anything to go by.
Rob Heathcote’s $4.38 million earner has their 41st career start here, Buffering out to secure their fourth Group 1 win.
He’s third-up for the season and looking to improve on a third behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney last time out.
The TJ Smith Stakes is historically the best lead-up to the BTC Cup with three of the past 10 winners coming via the Sydney race including Black Caviar (2011) and Apache Cat (2008) who both completed the double.
In the latest BTC Cup odds Buffering pays $2.20 and looks the one to beat even if the rain comes and he becomes “vulnerable” as Heathcote has expressed concerns about.
With four other individual Group 1 winners also in the mix, it is easy to see why punters might be looking at an upset BTC Cup result.
Buffering’s biggest danger according to Heathcote and the bookies is fellow local hope, the Tony Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom ($6.50).
The Boom, winner of the William Reid Stakes two back in Melbourne, was last seen running second to their stable mate and half-brother Temple Of Boom in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm.
Even though that was a good run and they can improve on it, history shows that eight of the past 10 BTC Cup winners had their final run in Sydney and not on Queensland soil.
So should you back one of the top two fancies?
Or is there value to be found further down the BTC Cup betting markets from the likes of known mudlark Tiger Tees ($9) or Gerald Ryan’s last start Group 3 winner Hot Snitzel ($9) up in class here?
#1 Buffering ($2.20)
Only two favourites in the past 10 years, and four in the last 15, may have saluted for BTC Cup punters but think Buffering is ready to strike three runs in and can win their first Group 1 on home soil here. He’s broken the Group 1 duck well and truly and now it’s time to do it in front of the Brissy fans at a track where he’s won three from eight. He’s also the only previous winner at the track and distance, has the most experience in the field with 40 starts behind him and is still racing like a youngster. TJ Smith Stakes is the right form line, this is a small field and his record shows he can handle a Heavy track despite his trainer’s worries there.
#4 Tiger Tees ($9)
Money is starting to come for Joe Pride’s Dubawi six-year-old and we believe they’ll make a real competition out of this. At $9 represents great value if the rain comes, Tiger Tees boasting good Slow (5-3-0-1) and Heavy (3-1-1-0) form. They have the right lead-up coming off the Sydney Group 1s having finished fourth (one back from Buffering) in the TJ Smith Stakes before their third over 1400m in the All Aged Stakes. Back in distance for this so will need to stay sharp but they have the second highest Win Rate (42%), are a gun over the distance (9-3-0-1) and are one of three to have won at Doomben before.
#2 Spirit Of Boom ($6.50)
Most likely to beat ‘The Buff’ according to the bookies, Spirit Of Boom comes off a Victory Stakes second and broke their Group 1 maiden before that at Flemington. Have plenty of winter carnival experience, including a fifth in this last year, but could be sus on rain-affected ground.
Get in on the BTC Cup betting action and lock in our insider tips online now at Ladbrokes.com.au at the guaranteed best prices.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change