They may be up against nine city raiders in their hometown cup clash this afternoon but the Greg Bennett-trained Kaypers is ready for the challenge in the 2014 Scone Cup.
Ten of the original 16 final acceptors for this year’s $200,000 Listed Emirates Park Scone Cup (1600m) are visiting Scone Racecourse from their metro bases, nine left in contention following the early withdrawal of the Chris Waller-trained Said Com.
It is still an imposing contingent making an assault on this year’s Scone Cup field where local horseman Bennett is hoping to survive with his runner Kaypers and take out his first Scone Cup trophy.
“I’ve never won the Scone Cup but Kaypers came close when he ran third last year,” Bennett told The Daily Telegraph.
“My only other runner in the race was many years ago on the old White Park track so it is exciting to be in with a chance.
“For Scone, this is a great couple of days, it gives the locals something to work towards and provides country racing with more exposure and that can only be good for our sport.
“Kaypers does have a lot of local support, he always gives a good sight, so we are going into the Scone Cup with some optimism.”
It’s a water tight Scone Cup betting market currently with four dominating the show.
Sydney duo Mecir (Team Hawkes) and Wistful (John O’Shea) currently share $5.50 favouritism having both firmed in from their opening price of $6.50.
Second pick is then French expat Prince Cheri ($6) from the Warwick Farm base of David Vandyke while the Joe Pride-trained Destiny’s Kiss, also based at the Farm, rounds out the single figure fancies at $6.50.
Further down the Scone Cup odds then at an easing price of $11 (out from $10) is then six-year-old Cape Cross gelding Kaypers.
They’ve been in top form this season enjoying some nice efforts around Sydney including their last start victory in a Benchmark 97 over 1400m at Randwick on April 27 when ridden by Christian Reith.
That broke a length winning drought with Kaypers unable to win before that since August of 2012.
Reith retains the ride today, the duo looking to overcome a wide barrier 12 draw and keep the momentum going despite a three week break between runs.
“There was no point in running him in anything else, there was nothing really suitable,” Bennett said.
“So we have just kept him ticking over, he has done enough work and I’m very happy with the horse.”
Bennett believes the barrier won’t stop them from putting in a gun run either.
Kaypers drew equally as awkward in last year’s Scone Cup (barrier 13 of 16) and still managed to come within half a length of the winner when third behind Speediness (1st) and Mouro (2nd).
“He has drawn a mediocre gate but there is plenty of time down the back for Christian to find somewhere to put him,” Bennett said.
“He had a similar draw last year and although he ended up three-wide, he had cover and was still able to finish it off and very nearly won.”
It is that form their trainer is banking on them to reproduce here as they return home for their first start at Scone under race conditions since last winter’s Cup.
“There are some nice horses in the race but no real standouts and we are going there as confident as we can be,” Bennett added.
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