A final field of 13 gallopers makeup this Friday night’s 2014 JRA Cup lineup including the in-form The Cleaner looking to return to the track and distance for Moonee Valley’s Cox Plate on October 25.
It has been a fairytale spring so far for the Mick Burles-trained Tasmanian cult figure, Savoir Vivre seven-year-old The Cleaner looking to continue that this Moir Stakes Night with a win in the $200,000 Group 3 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m).
The evergreen veteran will carry the 59kg top weight with Steven Arnold to ride from a wide barrier 10 draw.
If successful in overcoming the weight and the gate however The Cleaner will be celebrating his fourth win from five starts.
In fact, he hasn’t finished worse than second since February, winning four races in that time including back-to-back efforts at Moonee Valley where he returns for the JRA Cup.
Now with an imposing record at the track, three wins a second and a third from five runs, the visitor from the Apple Isle is heading towards the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
A $34 chance in Cox Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au he was last seen defeating a crack field in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 6.
The form of that race was trumped by third placegetter Foreteller too with the Chris Waller-trained eight-year-old backing up to win the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last weekend.
Following The Cleaner in the JRA Cup weights with 58kg is then the Bart & James Cummings-trained Precedence in gate three with Glen Boss who also has a top Moonee Valley record with five wins from nine starts at the track.
A rising 10-year-old, the always honest Zabeel gelding is out to improve on a first-up 12th at Flemington from September 13 but held form during the winter including a second to Zephyron in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben.
Coming off better lead-up runs meanwhile are the likes of the Peter Gelagotis-trained Mourinho and Tony McEvoy’s Big Memory.
The defending JRA Cup winner having taken out the race 12 months ago, seven-year-old Oratorio gelding Mourinho won first-up over 1500m here in August before a nice second behind The Cleaner when defeating subsequent Underwood winner Foreteller in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
Gelagotis is tipping the JRA Cup then to be a two horse battle again between the Dato quinella, one he hopes his runner can win this time round.
“I believe without being biased or over-the-top but on paper it looks a two-horse race,” Gelagotis told Racing Victoria.
“The form out of the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes held up last week with Foreteller winning the Underwood Stakes and I think it puts them a class above the rest of the field.
“On paper I think The Cleaner and Mourinho will run the quinella barring bad luck. It’s just a matter of whether we can turn the tables on The Cleaner.”
Big Memory, who gets in on the 54kg minimum, meanwhile will be ridden by Craig Williams as he looks to go one better than his second to Brambles first-up over 1700m at Flemington two weeks ago.
Other notable inclusions in the JRA Cup field this year include Darren Weir’s 2014 Caulfield Cup hopeful Signoff (barrier two) who won four on the trot last time in, 2011 Victoria Derby winner Sangster and the Michael Kent-trained four-year-old stakes winner Pyrrolic.
See below for the full JRA Cup 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below.
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2014 JRA Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 6 (9:15pm) – 26/09/2014
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2251×21211||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Steven Arnold||10||59kg||108|
|2||2116x327x0||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||Glen Boss||3||58kg||106|
|3||73x6060x60||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Hugh Bowman||1||57.5kg||105|
|4||x027259x56||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||4||57kg||104|
|5||0x26506x12||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Craig Newitt||12||56.5kg||103|
|6||23x85317x8||ANCIENT KING (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Ms Linda Meech||7||54kg||97|
|7||x3x0211137||MARKSMANSHIP (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||Ms Michelle Payne||11||54kg||96|
|8||7x221210x2||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Craig Williams||9||54kg||95|
|9||x072080x20||HVASSTAN||Peter Gelagotis||Dwayne Dunn||8||54kg||95|
|10||7865176125||LORD DURANTE||Simone Ferchie||Chris Symons||5||54kg||93|
|11||1151111×03||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||2||54kg||92|
|12||9x87116x40||OMINOUS (GB)||Nigel Blackiston||Kerrin McEvoy||13||54kg||90|