Joe Pride’s last start Stayers Cup winner Destiny’s Kiss has opened hot favourite to win the 2014 Winter Cup and make it back-to-back victories in Sydney on Saturday.
There are only nine hopefuls left in the mix for this year’s $100,000 Listed Perfection Fresh Winter Cup (2400m) following the early withdrawal of the Gerald Ryan-trained Ironstein.
In their penultimate run the veteran eight-year-old, set for retirement after next month’s Grafton Cup, will instead race in Queensland on the weekend in the $175,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
Of the remaining Winter Cup hopes Power Of Destiny five-year-old Destiny’s Kiss is the one to beat sitting at a current quote of $2.70 in the Ladbrokes.com.au markets.
They carry the 59kg top weight from barrier one with Josh Parr aboard, Parr also in the saddle for their two most recent runs.
Two back they ran second to 2014 Melbourne Cup second favourite La Amistad in the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) before relishing a step up in distance and a Heavy (8) track at Randwick on June 7 to win the $100,000 Stayers Cup (3200m).
Destiny’s Kiss has the same weight here but needs to handle the drop back down to a mile and a half, something the bookies are tipping them to do without issue.
There are then three other hopes in the Winter Cup betting markets under $10 with:
- #5 Secessio ($5) – The best fancied of Chris Waller’s four runners, the Konigstiger five-year-old has barrier three and ran third in the McKell Cup two back which looks the form to follow, last start they were a sixth in the Stayers Cup but will enjoy getting back in distance after getting beaten 14 lengths last time out
- #8 Mulaqen ($5) – Another Waller runner, this Haafhd six-year-old comes via a fourth behind Keep Cool at Rosehill over 2000m from a fortnight ago, handles most track conditions and are up in distance but have previous winning form over 2400m from last year
- #9 Sir Bigglesworth ($9) – Gai Waterhouse-trained One Cool Cat four-year-old, up in class here with no stakes races this season but form over 2590m from last Saturday and go back from 59kg then to just 54kg on Saturday for a nice bit of weight relief
In a tight market the other notable hopes are then Waller’s 58kg second top weight Permit ($10), former Group 1 winner in Adelaide Zabeelionaire ($10) and the last of the Waller-trained contingent Hoylonny ($15).
The Waller stable have an eye on the weather ahead of the race too praying for a firm track for Permit in Sydney having also accepted the Dansili seven-year-old for the $80,000 Banjo Paterson Series Heat 5 (2520m) at Flemington where they would lump around the 60kg top weight.
“He is a horse who needs a dry track and the forecast for Melbourne is grim,” Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior told AAP.
Check out the table below for the full list of latest Winter Cup 2014 odds.
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