A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
The Perth Cup 2018 is the feature race on January 1 around the country with a smart field of stayers facing off for half-a-million-dollars in prize money at Ascot Racecourse, tips and the latest odds for which are listed below.
This summer’s Group 2 $500,000 Perth Cup (2400m) features a capacity line-up and it is a tough battle at the top of the odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Current favourite in Perth Cup betting paying $4.20 for the win is the in-form Material Man drawn in gate three and coming off two brave seconds to new star on the scene, Pounamu.
His close losses in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) and Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) were both eye-catching and he comes back to 56.5kg here under the handicap conditions.
The danger looking at the Perth Cup odds for 2018 at a very close $4.40 is the flying Trap For Fools who comes off a string of six straight wins including three black-type staying victories this season.
His last start success in the Listed A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) on December 20 with 57kg was good, making Lindsey Smith’s progressive Poet’s Voice four-year-old a huge winning hope again on just 54.5kg from gate four on Monday.
So will the top two battle it out for the Group 2 win or is there value to be had tipping a horse further down the Perth Cup markets such as the 59kg top weight Pounamu ($6) who comes off the Kingston Town – Ted Van Heemst winning double or the market mover Royal Star ($7.50) owned by the prolific Bob Peters?
#4 Zarantz ($11)
Going for value in Zarantz prepared by top Perth Cup trainer Adam Durrant. A good weight (54.5kg) puts this Choisir seven-year-old in the mix to break a winning drought that goes back to a two-mile victory back in April. Has been consistent since, including successive seconds to Scales Of Justice in the winter. This campaign he has been steadily building and he was solid late when third in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes. That could prove the form to follow, the 2400m suits and he can improve on the midfield seventh to Star Exhibit last Perth Cup.
#3 Trap For Fools ($4.40)
Plenty of love for this gun four-year-old who is the picture of progression and consistency. Bypassed the Ted Van Heemst, which would have come on a three day back-up, after making it six on the trot in the ATA Stakes. Rises in grade and gets out to 2400m for the first time since the WATC Derby flop (12th) in April, which he is more than capable of atoning for here having matured. Barrier four and 54.5kg are also pluses.
#8 Dark Alert ($12)
Good price also on offer for the rails-drawn Dark Alert, Joe Miller’s Testa Rossa six-year-old coming off a quarter-length second to Trap For Fools in the ATA Stakes. The extra metres in the rematch on Monday work to his advantage and his place rate is outstanding. Fifth in the Perth Cup last year at $20 on the back of an ATA Stakes fourth and looks to be going better 12 months on. Flies with 53kg.
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