Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
There are four horses battling for top spot in the Roma Cup 2017 betting markets for the Perth feature at Ascot Racecourse this weekend.
Set to run as Ascot Race 7 on Saturday, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 D’Orsongna Roma Cup (1200m) has attracted a capacity field of 16 hopefuls plus two emergencies.
Of those there are four that are nearly equal in the latest Roma Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on the weight-for-age sprint including narrow early favourite Caipirinha ($4.80) from the local stables of Simon Miller.
Drawn out wide in barrier 15, into 13 with the emergencies out, the ultra-consistent filly comes off a string of top two runs including her brave second in December’s Listed Lee Steere Classic (1400m), which followed a Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) win in November.
This time in she’s had two Ascot runs for two wins in BenchMark 72+ races over 1000m and is in peak form to run third-up over the 1200m on Saturday with regular rider Joseph Azzopardi continuing his association with the up-and-coming three-year-old.
Caipirinha takes on a better experienced field of older sprinters in the Roma Cup this weekend from a nasty alley, but gets the weight advantage on 55kg and even on the short seven day back-up could prove the one to run down if she can get to the front early and lead.
Occupying the second line of Roma Cup betting at $5 is the Chris Gangemi-trained Rock Magic, a rising eight-year-old who comes off some tough Group 1 interstate runs over the autumn.
Third to Takedown last November at home when under a length beaten in Perth’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), Rock Magic travelled to Melbourne and then Sydney this campaign.
First-up he ran a brave fourth only one and a half-lengths off the upset winner Silent Sedition in Moonee Valley’s Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m), before being found out as a $26 roughie at Randwick on April 1 for his second last (14th) in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
This is a far easier run back down to Group 3 grade at home and the bookies are taking no chances with Rock Magic who has had the freshen-up.
The next two equal best in the markets at $5.50 each for the win are the defending Roma Cup winner Battle Hero and early market mover Great Shot.
Jockey William Pike is back in the saddle of Stratum five-year-old Battle Hero who is out to win successive editions of the autumn sprint for the first time since Doctor Golly (1992-93).
Since then there have been two other dual Roma Cup winners, but on non-successive years, with Grand Nirvana (2009 & 2011) and Luckygray (2012 & 2015).
In his lead-up run this campaign Battle Hero finished a good third as a $21 outsider in the Listed Northam Stakes (1100m) behind First Among Equals who races in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide.
He’ll be fitter second-up and has a great record two runs in (4-2-1-0).
Great Shot meanwhile is in flying form having run top two in his five runs this time in, the Rhys Radford-trained Magnus four-year-old last seen winning the Listed Old Comrade Stakes (1600m) on April 15.
He drops back to 1200m for the first time since a win at Ascot in February, has the race fitness and only has to handle the fewer metres to continue his excellent season.
See below for the full Roma Cup 2017 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win Perth racing odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Roma Cup Field, Barriers & Odds
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