A talented and capacity field of eighteen has been confirmed for Saturday’s featured 2015 Ballarat Cup (2200m); highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Spring Carnival’s standout stayers and several previous winners at the highest level of racing.
Robert Smerdon has set Ungrateful Ellen for an appearance in the 2015 Ballarat Cup and is confident the talented mare is in peak order for the race, who could very well receive the run of the race from barrier 7.
Posting two wins and a further five minors through 16 career starts so far, Ungrateful Ellen returned to racing this year for third in the Andy’s Earthmovers BM64 (1400m) before taking out the Anzac Centenary Cup (1600m) on April 16th.
Running a credible fifth in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m), the Grey Swallow mare progressed to third in the Group 2 SA Fillies Classic (2500m) before running a close second to Winx in the Group 2 Queensland Oaks (2200m).
Having run fourth in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) on October 2nd, Ungrateful Ellen has since also finished fourth in the Montague Tree Plate (2000m) and Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) and will relish a return to 2200m.
Leading trainer Chris Waller will launch a two-pronged attack on the feature race after confirming both Junoob and Index Linked in the Ballarat Cup field.
Claiming ten wins and nine minors through 43 career starts, Junoob is yet to hit peak condition this time but is sure to relish the conditions of a country cup.
Placing fifth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on September 5th, the Haafhd gelding failed to fire when 12th in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) nor when ninth in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), but responded well in running on for second in the Listed Club Cup (2400m) on October 17th.
Index Linked was simply outclassed when eleventh in the talent-rich Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) last start but is sure to be given a great ride towards redemption from Ben Melham in the Ballarat Cup.
A standout for Waller through the Brisbane Winter Carnival, highlighted by a close second in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2200m) and success in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m), Index Linked returned this time for fifth in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) on September 19th.
Having run on for third in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) in his only other start prior to the Mackinnon Stakes, Index Linked should find a good position off pace from barrier 10 before launching a late charge.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir is also offered two good chances of success in the Ballarat Cup in Akzar and Tooleybuc Kid.
Akzar will have taken plenty of benefit from his most recent run in the Kyneton Cup (2000m) on November 4th and will leave from the ideal barrier 5.
Tooleybuc Kid ran fifth in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) last time out on October 28th and should have no issue in dropping back to 2200m for the 2015 Ballarat Cup.
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2015 Ballarat Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||084×750920||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||–||6||60kg||105|
|2||105216×530||INDEX LINKED (GB)||Chris Waller||Ben Melham||10||59.5kg||104|
|3||x684x4x803||PRINCE CHERI (FR)||David Vandyke||Mark Zahra||13||57kg||99|
|4||2124138110||DIGITALISM||John Sadler||Michael Dee (a)||12||56kg||97|
|5||3755×00774||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||–||5||55kg||95|
|6||6184183005||CRAFTY CRUISER||Bryce Stanaway||Jye McNeil (a)||4||55kg||95|
|7||4651060×00||TANBY||Mick Cerchi||Dean Holland||17||55kg||95|
|8||21143×9755||TOOLEYBUC KID||Darren Weir||–||15||55kg||95|
|9||146×074440||MAYGROVE||Murray Baker||Patrick Moloney (a)||9||54.5kg||94|
|10||3510×08720||PONDAROSA MISS (NZ)||Jason Bridgman||James Winks||3||54.5kg||98|
|11||08712×0000||SONNTAG||Henry Dwyer||Chris Symons||16||54.5kg||94|
|12||x452x78624||SYSMO (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||18||54kg||92|
|13||30×4098035||DON DOREMO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Craig Robertson||8||54kg||90|
|14||5182424855||LORD DURANTE||Simone Ferchie||Darren Gauci||11||54kg||89|
|15||15443×5063||MUJADALE||Paul A Jones||Stephen Baster||2||54kg||88|
|16||31532×8444||UNGRATEFUL ELLEN||Robert Smerdon||Craig Newitt||7||54kg||85|
|17||x049429711||ZAYAM (FR)||Matthew Smith||Vlad Duric||1||54kg||80|