This Saturday the feature race in Victoria is the Ballarat Cup 2015, the latest betting odds and exclusive tips on the staying showdown found below.
Set to run as Ballarat Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEST), this year’s $300,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) features a full field of 18.
Leading Ballarat Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $5.50 is the Robert Smerdon-trained Grey Swallow mare Ungrateful Ellen.
Getting in on the 54kg minimum with Craig Newitt in the saddle from a gun barrier seven draw, the four-year-old shoots for her first win since a mile victory at Bendigo back in mid-April.
She was runner-up to Chris Waller’s subsequent Cox Plate winner Winx in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) during the winter and comes off three straight fourth place finishes in Melbourne.
The latest was behind dual Group 1 winner Lucia Valentina in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) and she is tipped to improve when up to a mile and a half this weekend with the light weight.
There are just two other single figure hopes in Ballarat Cup betting this season with Akzar ($9) and Sysmo ($9) drawn at opposite ends of the field in barriers five and 18 respectively.
Darren Weir’s veteran nine-year-old Akzar debuts at Ballarat this weekend, the import boasting winning form up to 3000m and a close fourth last time out when beaten under a length by Tristram’s Sun in the Kyneton Cup over 2000m.
A wide draw for the Tony McEvoy-trained Adelaide raider Sysmo hasn’t deterred the punters, the seven-year-old only having won up to 1600m previously.
The next best in the Ballarat Cup betting markets include Weir’s Bendigo Cup fifth placed six-year-old Tooleybuc Kid ($10), the Chris Waller-trained Index Linked ($11) coming back in class after an 11th in the Mackinnon Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington and early market mover Sonntag smashed in from $71 to $15 for the win.
So will one of the hopes under $10 get the job done or is there an upset Ballarat Cup result on the cards this weekend?
#8 Tooleybuc Kid ($10)
Denon gelding ticks a number of boxes and looks nice value for a big run here. Hasn’t won since April’s Pakenham Cup (2000m) but the fifth behind Group 1 winner The Offer in the Bendigo Cup over 2400m on October 28 was brave. Goes up to 55kg and has a wide draw, but jockey Dean Yendall knows the horse and with the right run can put this galloper in the finish. He was finishing fast in the Bendigo Cup and over the distance again here should be ready to fire.
#17 Zayam ($14)
Matthew Smith’s in-form Shamardal six-year-old is in flying form coming off back-to-back wins in Sydney over 1800m and 2000m respectively carrying big weights. Up in class and needing to handle the Victorian way of racing, a drop to 54kg from barrier one gives the horse every chance to do just that at a good price in a line-up missing a stand-out.
#16 Ungrateful Ellen ($5.50)
Deserving favourite looking to improve on a string of fourth place runs in good company this time in. She’s drawn the gate and has the right weight, and while her winning form only goes up to a mile she is Group 1 placed over 2200m so has class. Last time out she was charging home in Flemington’s Matriarch Stakes during the Cup Carnival over 2000m and should appreciate the extra metres this weekend.
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