The flying Darren Weir-trained stallion Raw Impulse is odds-on favourite to continue his winning streak in Sydney’s WJ McKell Cup 2016 at Randwick Racecourse this weekend.
A four-year-old son of Makfi, the gun import has won all three of his starts for Weir in Melbourne this time in including a last start victory by nearly three lengths over 2000m at Caulfield on May 14.
This weekend he travels to Sydney for the first time and is well-fancied to take out the $100,000 Listed W.J. McKell Cup (2400m) stepping up to stakes company and the mile and a half.
Sam Clipperton jumps aboard Raw Impulse for the first time on Saturday in barrier four and the horse gets in on the 54kg minimum.
It is the galloper’s first look at the distance, but the bookies are taking no chances with Raw Impulse sitting top of the McKell Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying a short $1.55 and firming.
The WJ McKell Cup field is down to 14 runners after the early scratching of the Chris Waller-trained Index Linked (5) who instead heads to Brisbane for a shot at Doomben’s $125,000 Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m).
Following Raw Impulse in the WJ McKell Cup betting markets are two other runners under $10 for the win with the widely-drawn duo of Havana Cooler ($6.50) and Ecuador ($8) who jump from barriers 14 and 12 respectively.
John O’Shea prepares Hurricane Run six-year-old Havana Cooler who from two previous runs at Randwick has run third twice.
Two back he was third to Guardini in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick before his third at Rosehill on May 7 behind Ecuador in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) from a similarly wide barrier.
Lord Mayor’s Cup winner Ecuador meanwhile won last time out carrying 57.5kg to victory, the High Chaparral six-year-old improving on a sixth to Amovatio before that in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m).
The Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding goes up to the 59.5kg top weight this weekend shooting for back-to-back victories with Adam Hyeronimus retaining the ride.
Waller meanwhile still has four WJ McKell Cup hopefuls even after the withdrawal of Index Linked.
Lining up for Sydney’s leading horseman are Opinion, Beyond Thankful, Hawkspur and Murphy’s Delight.
The best fancied of his contingent at $19 each are former Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur coming off a fourth to Ecuador in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and light weight hope Murphy’s Delight dropping from 59.5kg last time out to 54kg on Saturday.
The only other runner in the race under $20 for the win is veteran seven-year-old Iggi Pop ($13), the Peter Robl-trained son of Savabeel coming off two recent second place finishes.
Two back he was second to Honey Toast in the Listed Toowoomba Cup (2000m) before he was beaten home by one again on My 6 in the Listed Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m).
The last time Iggi Pop was up over 2400m was in the 2014 Group 1 The Metropolitan when ninth to Opinion.
See below for the full W.J. McKell Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.