Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Despite being allocated the top kilos for Saturday’s Christmas Cup 2017 in Sydney, the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Broadside has opened odds-on favourite to win the Randwick staying showdown.
The key support act on the Villiers Stakes Day summer race card, this year’s Listed $125,000 Christmas Cup (2400m) had attracted a diminutive field of just the seven stayers.
Carrying 59kg and drawn the outside barrier (7) in the mile and a half clash is consistent Raise The Flag six-year-old Broadside.
After a brave fifth only three lengths beaten in the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) over the same track / distance as the Christmas Cup in late September, Broadside was last seen winning the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on December 2.
The gelding was impressive fresh saluting by two lengths and is better suited to the extra metres this weekend, but does rise from 56.5kg that day to the weekend’s top weight.
The bookies are taking no chances with Broadside though, the Kiwi-bred stayer at a short $1.75 in the latest Christmas Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Outside of the favourite is a wide open edition of the race with a further four single-figure hopes including Vassal ($5.50) and Prince Cheri ($7) drawn in barriers four and three respectively.
Vassal gets in on Saturday’s 53kg minimum, the Chris Waller-trained Dansili six-year-old looking to improve on a lead-up sixth a fortnight back over the 2400m at Rosehill when carting 59kg.
Before that on November 11 the gelding hefted 60kg to a narrow win over the same distance, so with the notable drop in kilos should be flying this weekend back at Randwick for the first time since August.
Brenton Avdulla partners the John O’Shea-trained veteran nine-year-old Prince Cheri who has lead-up form around Saturday’s Villiers Stakes favourite Interlocuter.
Last time out the Lando stallion, who hasn’t won a race in four years, finished fourth to the Godolphin flyer Interlocuter in the $100,000 November Topaz (1900m).
Down three kilos to 53.5kg on the weekend, the French import Prince Cheri is a genuine chance to finally break the lengthy drought that extends back to the Group Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) in September of 2013.
There has also been a tickle of early money for Last Wish ($9.50) who opened at double-figures, while Green Sweet ($9.50) rounds out the hopes under $10 for the win.
John Thompson saddles-up seven-year-old Last Wish who ran third in a Benchmark 85 a fortnight back over 2400m at Rosehill gardens.
Like a few in the Christmas Cup field, the son of Guillotine hasn’t been first past the post in a while with his latest victory being at Moonee Valley in February of 2016.
He has also had five previous runs at Royal Randwick for two minor placings, including most recently a third over 2000m in late October.
Green Sweet has 55.5kg this weekend racing for Goulburn trainer Jean Dubois, the Smart Strike six-year-old looking to close the gap after finishing six lengths away fifth to Broadside in the ATC Cup last time out.
Check out the full Christmas Cup 2017 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au below.
2017 Christmas Cup Field & Odds
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