A small yet classy field of seven stayers will tackle the mile and a half distance at Royal Randwick Racecourse this Saturday in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m).
While 11 horses were nominated for the Villiers Stakes Day supporting race Gallatin, In Masquerade, Paraggi, and Spinderbella did not accept when the final field was released on Wednesday.
Chris Waller will deliver a dual-pronged attack on the race after accepting with both Permit and Saigon Tea. Eight-year-old gelding Permit remains the headline runner, set to jump from barrier three with Blake Shinn in the saddle. However the gelding will carry the top weight of 59kg, five kilograms more than the majority of his rivals.
Permit is defending his Christmas Cup title after winning the race last year, when he jumped from barrier two carrying 57kg. He failed to make much of an impression during the autumn, finishing outside the placings in all six of his starts, before finishing third in a Rosehill handicap over 1900m first up this campaign before finishing fifth in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m), just weakening out on the line.
Saigon Tea will jump from barrier four with Glyn Schofield in the saddle. The five-year-old mare finished in the first three in her last four starts, including winning a Benchmark 85 over 1800m her last time out.
Peter Moody’s Metaphorical is the only other runner not carrying the minimum weight of 54kg, though the mare hasn’t fared quite as bad as Permit carrying just half a kilogram above the minimum.
The Listed ATC Cup (2000m) runner-up last time out will has scored the ideal run from barrier one with champion hoop Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
The Bede Murray-trained World Wide on the other hand will have to overcome a start from the widest barrier with Tim Clark to ride. The eight-year-old gelding won the Port Macquarie Cup (2000m) on October 10 but has failed to place in any of his three starts since, including the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2046m), Rosehill Handicap, and ATC Cup.
John O’Shea’s Terai will jump from barrier six with James McDonald after winning the 2015 Sales Plate (2400m) last time out while Steve Englebrecht’s Lucky Lucky Lucky, who has finished in the first three his last four times out, will jump from barrier two.
Check out the complete 2014 Christmas Cup final field and barrier draw below.
The race’s betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au will open shortly so make sure your online account is up and running. New customers will receive up to $100 in a bonus match on their first bet.
2014 Christmas Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||8656549×35||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||3||59kg||100|
|2||636×049212||METAPHORICAL||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||1||54.5kg||95|
|3||2221×82231||SAIGON TEA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||4||54kg||92|
|4||x031451577||WORLD WIDE||Bede Murray||Tim Clark||7||54kg||84|
|5||30348x8x69||PLANET PURPLE||Kerry Parker||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5||54kg||81|
|6||48×5371132||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||Steve Englebrecht||Sam Clipperton||2||54kg||79|
|7||1219×41681||TERAI||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6||54kg||79|