The BTC Cup 2016 takes centre stage in Brisbane at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday, the final field and updated betting markets for the weight-for-age feature now out.
Due to run as Doomben Race 7 at 4:06pm (AEST), this year’s $500,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) has attracted 14 final acceptors.
Two are currently battling for favouritism in BTC Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with Fell Swoop ($4.20) and Japonisme ($4.40) the best fancied in the field.
Drawn wide in barrier 10 for jockey Jay Ford, the Matthew Dale-trained Fell Swoop will look to be the first BTC Cup winner from a double-digit gate since Spark Of Life (13 of 15) back in 2005.
The in-form Not A Single Doubt four-year-old ran a brave second in Sydney two back behind Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) before a narrow win as the odds-on fancy in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) in his Doomben debut on April 30.
He runs over the same track and distance this Saturday out to complete the Victory Stakes – BTC Cup double, the gelding a gun over 1200m with four wins and a second from his five previous starts over those metres.
His biggest danger according to the bookies is the Chris Waller-trained Japonisme out to be the first three-year-old BTC Cup winner since Your Song (2013).
Best known for his Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) success down the Flemington straight during last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, Choisir gelding Japonisme was last seen winning the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) on April 9 at Randwick.
He has since won a 1050m trial at the same track on May 6 and looks in flying form ahead of his BTC Cup Day assignment where Glyn Schofield replaces Hugh Bowman in the saddle from a favourable barrier three draw.
Waller has a total of three runners in this winter’s BTC Cup field with Japonisme joined by stablemates Delectation ($13) and Counterattack ($8) drawn wide alongside each other in gates 12 and 11 respectively.
Shamardal four-year-old Delectation shoots for his first win since Melbourne’s Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) last November, and is out to improve on a seventh in the TJ Smith Stakes.
He has won two subsequent trials, both in Sydney, including a 1.5 length victory over 1050m ahead of his third shot at Doomben where he hasn’t run since a ninth to Srikandi in last year’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.
Counterattack meanwhile comes off the Arrowfield Sprint form having crossed second to Japonisme in early April before a second to his star stablemate in a trial earlier this month.
The three-year-old Redoute’s Choice colt has had three previous runs at the Doomben track without a top three finish when fourth in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) and Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) last May before his seventh in the JJ Atkins.
The other single-figure hopes in BTC Cup betting this year are the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Stradbroke Handicap-bound Malaguerra ($6) and Victory Stakes third placegetter Artlee ($9).
Other notable hopes in the mix include the rails-drawn Dothraki ($13) for Peter & Paul Snowden who won the race last year with Hot Snitzel (2015) and the Joe Pride-trained Target In Sight ($15).
See below for the full BTC Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au who will match your first deposit 100% up to $500 in bonus bets with use of the code BETBONUS!