Last year’s Melbourne Cup third placegetter Criterion is the top-rated and weighted of the 39 Sydney Cup 2016 first acceptances taken by Racing NSW this week.
Tuesday saw first declarations for all of the Group 1 races taking place during Sydney’s ‘The Championships’ close including those for the $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 9.
Originally the Sydney Cup drew 85 nominations, but just 39 stayers remain in contention for the two mile classic after first acceptance stage.
Top weight with 58.5kg and number one on the updated Sydney Cup ballot is the internationally-performed David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Criterion.
No Sydney Cup winner has carried more than 58kg to victory in over 30 years giving the Lindsay Park galloper a notable hoodoo to overcome should he run in Day 1 of The Championships.
A five-year-old son of Sebring, Criterion was third over the distance in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the spring and after a run in Hong Kong raced last first-up behind Holler in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) last Saturday.
He currently pays $15 in all-in Sydney Cup odds, those futures markets co-led by Our Ivanhowe and Preferment at $7.
Lee & Anthony Freedman’s Caulfield Cup third placegetter from last October Our Ivanhowe raced fifth to Bow Creek first-up on February 27 in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
The German import takes on that horse again this weekend in Melbourne’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington before heading to Sydney.
Preferment is one of six Sydney Cup first acceptors for the state’s best trainer Chris Waller who trained first and second past the post last year with Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman.
Waller also prepared the 2011 Sydney Cup winner Stand To Gain and Preferment (55.5kg) is his best hope of making it a third win this autumn on the back of the Zabeel four-year-olds fourth first-up to Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
The reigning Sydney Cup champ Grand Marshal is missing from the line-up this year but runner-up Who Shot Thebarman, who was also third in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and won the Auckland Cup over the 3200m that year in New Zealand, is in the mix with 56kg.
The seven-year-old is also at single-figures for the win paying $9, just longer than stablemate Libran ($8) who gets in on the 50kg lightweight.
Lawman gelding Libran debuted down under last Melbourne Cup Carnival and broke his maiden status in Australia last Saturday winning a Listed, 2000m race at Randwick with 54kg on his back.
Also at $8 for the win out to become the first Sydney Cup winning mare since Jessicabeel (2010) is Gust Of Wind (52kg) for John Sargent, the four-year-old not having won a race since the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
She was far from disgraced in both the Caulfield Cup (4th) and Melbourne Cup (6th) last time in however and is tipped to improve on two unplaced runs at the back of the field this campaign as she steps out over more distance.
Also still in Sydney Cup contention are the likes of the Murray Baker-trained Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan (58kg), the John O’Shea-trained The BMW winner Hartnell (56kg) who ran fourth last season and Sandown Cup champ over the two miles Almoonqith (54.5kg).
See below for the full Sydney Cup 2016 first acceptances, weights and latest order of entry before backing your early selections at their generous futures prices at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 Sydney Cup First Acceptances
Randwick Racecourse – 09/04/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||35x61239x7||CRITERION (NZ)||H||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||1||58.5kg||115|
|2||151x7431x0||MONGOLIAN KHAN||H||4||Murray Baker||2||58kg||114|
|3||6x7x9230x5||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||H||6||Lee & Anthony Freedman||3||57kg||112|
|4||114x4650x5||HARTNELL (GB)||G||5||John O’Shea||4=||56kg||110|
|5||x758701x90||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||7||Chris Waller||4=||56kg||110|
|6||8x011907x4||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||4||Chris Waller||6||55.5kg||109|
|7||x620027x06||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||M||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||7||53kg||108|
|8||x5067101x9||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||8=||54.5kg||107|
|9||x0x3399x42||DIBAYANI (IRE)||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||8=||53.5kg||107|
|10||x075003x08||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||10=||54kg||106|
|11||1x98046x00||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||M||4||John Sargent||10=||52kg||106|
|12||114110×588||BEYOND THANKFUL (IRE)||G||6||Chris Waller||12=||53kg||103|
|13||8×17843331||REAL LOVE||M||5||Darren Weir||12=||50.5kg||103|
|14||11150311×4||AUVRAY (FR)||G||5||John P Thompson||14||52kg||102|
|15||35x69x311x||DESTINY’S KISS||G||7||Joseph Pride||15||51.5kg||101|
|16||x31703x814||ARAB DAWN (GB)||G||5||John O’Shea||16=||50.5kg||99|
|17||6x0x0069x0||GALLANTE (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||16=||50.5kg||99|
|18||1×00555010||MISTER IMPATIENCE (GB)||G||6||Michael Moroney||16=||50.5kg||99|
|19||3x300x93x0||DO YOU REMEMBER (SAF)||M||6||Peter G Moody||19||50kg||98|
|20||x692330x65||BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ)||M||4||Gai Waterhouse||20=||50kg||97|
|21||74x1x6x341||LIBRAN (IRE)||G||5||Chris Waller||20=||50kg||97|
|22||6276x4212x||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||G||7||David Vandyke||20=||50kg||97|
|23||x5x3673x76||MANNDAWI (FR)||G||6||Darren Weir||23||50kg||96|
|24||7x8x900x77||CAFE SOCIETY (FR)||G||6||Gai Waterhouse||24||50kg||94|
|25||11x5x8x115||ASSIGN (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||25||50kg||93|
|26||221x120x23||MAURUS (GB)||G||5||David Vandyke||26||50kg||92|
|27||x000544x97||LIKE A CAROUSEL||G||6||Ken Keys||27||50kg||91|
|28||x7x01878x2||WEXFORD TOWN (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||28=||50kg||88|
|31||x2362x1311||PEMBERLEY (NZ)||G||4||Peter G Moody||31=||50kg||82|
|33||37×3636150||CHEEKY BOY (NZ)||G||5||Bruce Wallace||33||50kg||79|
|34||50x62x3443||ANOTHER COCKTAIL (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||34=||50kg||76|
|35||870×008342||DOUBLE BLUFF (IRE)||G||5||Gerald Ryan||34=||50kg||76|
|36||211246×32||DEE I CEE (NZ)||G||4||Gai Waterhouse||36=||50kg||74|
|37||51712×94||OUR BAZAAR (IRE)||H||5||Archie Alexander||36=||50kg||74|
|38||13213×38||MASTER OF ARTS (NZ)||H||4||Darren Weir||38||50kg||72|
|39||x151042x45||BAYANOVA (NZ)||M||5||Michael Kent||39||50kg||67|