Caulfield horseman Stuart Webb will use the 2017 Adelaide Cup results on Monday to determine whether it is worth pressing onto the Sydney Cup over the same two mile distance this autumn with Annus Mirabilis.
The Irish import is one of nineteen stayers remaining in the mix for this season’s $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m), which headlines the Morphettville racing action in South Australia on Monday.
Annus Mirabilis is a six-year-old son of Montjeu and heads into the Adelaide Cup field on the back of a fifth when under three lengths beaten at Flemington on March 4 in the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m).
The Melbourne form has stacked up in the Adelaide Cup results in the past decade with half the winners coming off a Victorian run including the past three on the trot.
The Roy Higgins last produced an Adelaide Cup winner in Outback Joe (3rd in 2014) and Annus Mirabilis is out to be the next in 2017.
The latest Adelaide Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the galloper, to be ridden by Regan Bayliss from barrier seven, listed as one of the four single-figure fancies.
He currently pays $7.50 to handle his first look at the 3200m and win his first race since the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington back on New Year’s Day.
All going well, Webb hopes to press onto ‘The Championships’ at Royal Randwick next month targeting the $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 8.
Clear favourite in the current Adelaide Cup betting markets meanwhile is the Darren Weir-trained Lord Reims Stakes winner Master Of Arts ($3.80) out to retain his undefeated Morphettville track record.
Also high up the markets is the Lloyd Williams-owned top weight Chance To Dance ($6.50) to be ridden by Ben Melham from barrier tree.
Williams was the original Australian buyer of the imported Annus Mirabilis before the gelding was subsequently purchased by Mike Symons, the Melbourne Racing Club Chairman, in 2016.
Plans were to embark on a jumps career with the galloper, but he has continued to progress well through the flat racing ranks earning the Adelaide Cup assignment.
“I think he’ll improve again on a wet track too so if Sydney stays wet then I might aim him towards the Sydney Cup but he’d have to run very well [in the Adelaide Cup],” Webb told Racing Victoria.
“At some stage he’ll go jumping, it just depends whether it’s this season or next season.
“The hurdle schooling has definitely helped to turn his form around as has the addition of blinkers.
“He’s a very laid back casual horse and [blinkers] have been a really helpful addition for him.”
All-in Sydney Cup odds have Annus Mirabilis listed as a $51 roughie, a price sure to firm if he can come out and win the Adelaide Cup 2017.
“He had a short let up after he won the Bagot on the water walker up at Rockmount and he was terrific first up at Flemington and then had no luck last start,” Webb added.
“We were probably going to straighten up fourth or fifth a couple of lengths off the lead and got shuffled back through the field and to only be beaten the margin he did I thought the run was great.
“He should be further improved with that run under his belt and I’m looking forward to this race.
“The big field will hopefully ensure a genuinely run race and in these sort of races most of the horses tend to not run out the trip and he’s one that I think will.”
Futures Sydney Cup betting markets are now led by the reigning ATC Derby champ Tavago ($5.50) after the Tavistock four-year-old ran away with an over three length win last Saturday in Rosehill’s Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m).
One-time Sydney Cup favourite and now $6 second elect Antonio Giuseppe was second past the post in the Sky High Stakes as the defeated odds-on fancy.
The Chris Waller-trained four-year-old son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking is nominated for a possible seven day back-up into this weekend’s $700,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
His stablemate Winx steals the show in Sydney on Golden Slipper Day shooting for her 16th turf triumph on the trot in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
To back your Adelaide Cup 2017 betting selections and other autumn racing tips online at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.