One of three horses prepared by last year’s winning trainer Darren Weir, Tall Ship has opened top of the odds to take out Thursday’s 2015 Warrnambool Cup in country Victoria.
The highlight of the annual Warrnambool Racing Carnival, this year’s $200,000 Listed Sungold Milk Warrnambool Cup (2350m) features a final field of 15 stayers.
Twelve months ago it was the local Wangoom-based Weir who stole the show securing the $41,000 Mercedes bonus car, thanks in part to Akzar’s Warrnambool Cup victory.
This year Weir returns with a trio of hopefuls, including Irish import Tall Ship who shoots for his fourth win on the trot.
The Sea The Stars four-year-old most recently completed the Stawell Cup – Terang Cup double in April over 2000m and 2150m respectively, excellent form leading into the Warrnambool Cup over slightly more distance.
The step up in metres should be a non-issue for the in-form gelding however who has winning form right up to the mile and a half (2400m).
In the current Warrnambool Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the handicap feature, Tall Ship is the $4 favourite despite he and jockey Brad Rawiller drawing the outside barrier 15 draw.
It is an open Warrnambool Cup betting market this autumn with four other single figure fancies including $5.50 second pick Verdant.
Drawn a treat in barrier four for jockey Chris Parnham, the Robert Smerdon-trained eight-year-old was runner-up to Kourkam in the Albury Gold over 2000m on Anzac Day where he carried 55kg in the wet, the horse getting a firmer track but more kilos going up to 56.5kg on Thursday.
The next best in Warrnambool Cup betting this week are Weir’s ultra-consistent five-year-old Tooleybuck Kid ($6) and the Dan O’Sullivan-trained Tuscan Fire ($7).
Denon gelding Tooleybuc Kid sits top of the weights with 59.5kg, which is a 2.5 kg increase on the weight he carried to victory in the Pakenham Cup (2000m) last time out on April 26.
That was his second win on the trot over 2000m after an effort at Caulfield on April 18, form he’ll be out to repeat over more distance at Warrnambool even with the hefty impost.
Tuscan Fire is also high up the weights with 58kg, Damien Oliver riding the Tuscanos eight-year-old from the inside alley on the back of a second to the race favourite Tall Ship in the Terang Cup.
Rounding out the single figure fancies in this year’s Warrnambool Cup are then the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Redoute’s Choice mare La Amistad ($9) and fellow female galloper Lucciola ($9).
Five-year-old La Amistad hasn’t finished in the money since her third to Signoff in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington last Melbourne Cup Carnival.
She has had two unplaced runs this time in, most recently a disappointing seventh (of eight runners) behind fellow Warrnambool Cup rival Tooleybuc Kid.
Lucciola’s lead-up form is far more consistent, the David & Coral Feek-trained Verglas grey having won the Stony Creek Cup over 2100m two back before a third in the Pakenham Cup.
Just outside of those representing more value are the likes of Weir’s third hopeful Count Encosta ($13) who ran fifth to Second Bullet over 2000m at Caulfield last Saturday putting him on the short back-up into Thursday’s feature in barrier two and the equal 59.5kg top weight Shoreham ($14) who ran second over 2600m at Flemington on April 25.
See below for the full Warrnambool Cup 2015 betting odds, fixed markets open now at Ladbrokes.com.au with Best Tote or SP + 20% opening shortly giving you the chance to win 20% more in Thursday’s major!