A competitive field of stayers is engaged for Saturday’s feature at Caulfield Racecourse, the Easter Cup 2017 field at capacity with betting on the Group 3 led by Tom Melbourne.
Due to run as Caulfield Race 9 at 4:45pm (AEST) as the penultimate event on the Easter Saturday race card in Melbourne, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Le Pine Funerals Easter Cup (2000m) attracted the full sixteen starters plus three emergencies.
Leading the early Easter Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4 to return to return to winning form for the first time since the Albury Gold Cup in March of last year is the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Tom Melbourne.
The Dylan Thomas six-year-old was one of the spruik horses of last year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, but his best result was a third to Francis Of Assisi in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington.
He hasn’t raced since finishing second last (10th) to Humidor in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) back at Flemington on March 11, but has won a subsequent Cranbourne trial by five lengths over 1550m in early April.
Tom Melbourne is being kept safe in Easter Cup betting despite drawing the outside barrier for Saturday, but does look well-weighted on 55.5kg with Daniel Moor to ride.
Heading the Easter Cup weights with 59kg are the Ciaron Maher-trained Pornichet ($14) and the reigning champion Leebaz who is a $34 roughie to go back-to-back for the first time since Flail way back in 1933-34.
Shorter in the markets is the $5.50 second elect Second Bullet getting in on the 54kg minimum with Katelyn Mallyon to ride the Danny O’Brien-trained six-year-old.
He has strong form at the Caulfield track (9-2-2-1) and over the 2000m (15-5-2-4), and is back in Melbourne after a last start sixth to Master Of Arts in the Group 3 Lord Reims (2600m) at Morphettville in early March.
Despite the size of the field just two other hopefuls are under $10 for the Easter Cup win this season with the Michael Moroney-trained first emergency War Legend ($8) and Dark Eyes ($9.50) for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.
Snitzel four-year-old War Legend won the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) two back over the distance, before being found-out over a mile and a half when 11th to Tally on March 25 in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m).
He drops back in distance and weight for the weekend and is undefeated over 2000m.
Other notable hopes include Matt Cumani’s import Grey Lion ($11) who has had support in early betting for his first run since the Melbourne Cup (14th) last November and the Darren Weir-trained Zabeel mare Zasorceress ($12).
Check out the full Easter Cup 2017 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and Caulfield odds on the Group 3 below courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.