Singapore-based jockey Glen Boss is keen for the Sydney Cup 2017 ride on Saturday’s favourite Big Duke as he comes in for the suspended Craig Williams.
Williams lost his appeal for an eight-meeting careless riding suspension on Wednesday and will miss the mount on the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke in the re-run of the $2 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on the weekend.
In his place will be Boss who flies back from Singapore to partner the last start Chairman’s Handicap winner in the two mile classic.
The original Sydney Cup ran on April 8, but was declared a no race after the fall of Almoonqith and Who Shot Thebarman.
Big Duke was favourite for the abandoned event and also leads updated Sydney Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.30 to salute for the punters for the first time since The Offer (2014).
Boss chases his first Sydney Cup win since riding triple Melbourne Cup winning mare Makybe Diva to victory in the 2004 edition.
He is excited about the call-up to ride Weir’s 52kg light-weight on the weekend, especially as Big Duke chases a fourth straight win.
“Winners keep winning and Big Duke looks to be a lightly-raced stayer on the way up, he ticks a lot of boxes for the Sydney Cup and he is favourite for a reason,” Boss told Racing Victoria on Wednesday, shortly after the RAD Board dismissed Williams’ appeal.
“It is pretty scary to think that Makybe Diva won the race 13 years ago.
“I enjoy the challenge of riding in two-mile races, we don’t have many left in Australia and the Sydney Cup is a historic race.”
Raven’s Pass five-year-old Big Duke won the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) in late February, the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) on a mud Rosehill track on Slipper Day for Weir’s maiden Sydney win and then the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) on April 1.
That was the horse’s first Randwick run and he is now proven at the track, only needing to handle the step-up to the two miles to continue his winning streak with a breakthrough Group 1 success this weekend.
“Darren Weir and the connections have done a great job with him, they’ve been able to build his preparation and beat the handicapper,” Boss added.
“He’s got 52kg in the race but his rating already says he should be carrying more.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity, obviously it is disappointing for Craig, but I’m very much looking forward to the race now.”
Big Duke came up with gate two in the updated Sydney Cup barrier draw and is out to be the third horse since 2012 to salute from the alley.
Charlie Appleby’s two English raiders Polarisation and Penglai Pavilion, who ran first and third respectively in the original Sydney Cup, are the next best in betting for this weekend.
The addition of front-running filly Lasqueti Spirit, who led all the way for her Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) win at Flemington last spring, should see a genuinely run Sydney Cup.
She is at $9 for the win in the latest Sydney Cup odds, full markets open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.