A capacity field of 18 gallopers plus one emergency has accepted for the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) this Saturday, the stand-alone feature on the program at Ballarat Racecourse.
Headlining the field are both Fat Al and Tuscan Fire, who’ll each carry the top weight of 60kg in the race – up to six kilos more than their rivals.
The Peter Moody-trained Fat Al enjoyed a win in the Listed Yalumba Golden Mile (1600m) back in March but has had pretty disappointing form since then, finishing end of the field in five of his seven starts including the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), and Listed Seymour Cup (1600m).
Of the gelding’s three most recent starts, he’s finished just outside the placings in the Melbourne Signage Concepts Handicap (1500m) and Listed Premium Stakes (1800m).
Fat Al will jump from barrier nine (into eight if emergency Shenzhou Steeds doesn’t make it into the race) with Craig Williams in the saddle.
Dan O’Sullivan’s Tuscan Fire will enjoy the inside run after scoring barrier one with champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
The gelding finished last in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) first up in the spring before finishing just a fourth off the winner in the Premium Stakes on Melbourne Cup Day. O’Sullivan believes Tuscan Fire is peaking just in time for the 2014 Ballarat Cup, and after scoring his desired barrier draw will be confident of success.
“He’s come through the [Premium Stakes] terrifically well and naturally it’s brought him on and should have him peaking for Ballarat which was my ultimate goal,” the trainer told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
“I think he shows his best turn-of-foot when he draws a good barrier and gets cover.
“My confidence levels are probably dependent on the barrier draw but I couldn’t be happier with the horse himself.”
As previously announced, Darren Weir leads the charge with three horses set to run the 2014 Ballarat Cup. The trainer hasn’t been given any help in the barrier draw, with all three runners starting from the wider half of the field.
Hurdy Gurdy Man, who is Weir’s best shot at success, will jump from barrier 12 while Mobaco and At First Sight will start next to each other from barriers 15 and 16, respectively.
Robert Smerdon’s Spinderbella, who has finished in the first three in all seven of her last runs, will get a good start from barrier three carrying the lowest weight of 54kg while Mick Price’s Count Of Limonade will jump from barrier six.
The Chris Waller-trained Vilanova, who finished third in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) in October, will enjoy the jump from barrier two with James Winks as hoop.
Check out the complete 2014 Ballarat Cup final field & barrier draw below.
Betting markets for the race are due to open at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly, make sure your online betting account is open and ready to go.
2014 Ballarat Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||310079×508||FAT AL||Peter G Moody||Craig Williams||9||60kg||98|
|2||000x830x04||TUSCAN FIRE||Dan O’Sullivan||Kerrin McEvoy||1||60kg||98|
|3||21x67x0615||COUNT OF LIMONADE (IRE)||Mick Price||Dean Yendall||6||59kg||96|
|4||995x406x60||TANBY||Mick Cerchi||Jamie Mott||8||59kg||96|
|5||515322×008||HURDY GURDY MAN||Darren Weir||John Allen||12||58.5kg||95|
|6||3413×68399||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||James Winks||2||58.5kg||95|
|7||06220×8992||AT FIRST SIGHT (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||16||57kg||92|
|8||11x506x009||MOBACO (FR)||Darren Weir||–||15||57kg||92|
|9||080×206064||HVASSTAN||Peter Gelagotis||Craig Newitt||19||56kg||90|
|10||218119×729||THE INVENTOR||Bevan Laming||Darren Gauci||11||56kg||90|
|11||113×709060||ELECTRIC FUSION||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||17||55kg||88|
|12||34300×3071||MUJADALE||Paul A Jones||Kevin Forrester||5||55kg||88|
|13||099x95Px70||MOTIVADO (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Chris Symons||14||54kg||84|
|14||45111×2131||SPINDERBELLA||Robert Smerdon||Chad Schofield||3||54kg||84|
|15||04x455x057||YOU THINK SO (NZ)||Michael Kent||–||10||54kg||84|
|17||x461489144||WALTZING TO WIN||David Huxtable||–||13||54kg||82|
|18||14030×9114||HAPPY AS HELL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Jack Hill||4||54kg||81|
|19e||x43444x053||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Mitchell Freedman||Jarrod Fry||7||54kg||81|