The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
18 stayers plus one emergency are set to run in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) on Saturday, offering punters a variety of excellent betting opportunities.
The $200,000 race is the stand-alone feature on the Saturday program at Ballarat Racecourse.
Of those 19 horses, four are offering single figure odds in the Ballarat Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au led by Spinderbella at $5.50.
The Robert Smerdon-trained mare will get a great start from barrier three with Chad Schofield in the saddle as she runs her first black-type race. She is in great form after finishing in the first three in her last seven starts. This campaign alone Spinderbella has won a BM84 along with the LF Sign Group Handicap (2040m) as well as finishing third in the Pinker Plate (2080m).
She faces tough competition in the race with three other runners offering single figure odds.
- #2 Tuscan Fire ($6.50) – Dan O’Sullivan’s gelding is carrying the top weight of 60kg in the Ballarat Cup however he will get the ideal inside run from barrier one along with champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle. He finished last in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) first up in the spring before turning it around in the Listed Cup Day Plate at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, just missing out on a placing in fourth place.
- #6 Vilanova ($8) – the Chris Waller-trained gelding is arguably the most experienced runner on the field after winning the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) and finishing third in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) during the Brisbane Winter Carnival. However his spring campaign was less than stellar, only managing a minor placing in one of his five starts – the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m). It looks like he’ll enjoy the increase in distance as he jumps from barrier two.
- #7 At First Sight ($9) – is one of three Darren Weir-trained horses contesting the Ballarat Cup and the only one with any chance according to the fixed-odds. The gelding ran tenth in the 2011 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) after which he had nearly three years off the track. He returned in the spring before finding his feet in the Ararat Cup (2000m), finishing second to Mujadale.
That’s how the bookies see it but there are plenty of runners offering lucrative double figure odds who could cause an upset and win the 2014 Ballarat Cup. Count Of Limonade ($11) won the Moe Cup (2050m) on October 16 before just missing out on a placing in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) a fortnight later.
The Robert Smerdon-trained Electric Fusion is the market mover of the race, seeing his price shorten from $14 to $12, despite drawing outside barrier 17.
This Saturday wraps up the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival, and Ladbrokes.com.au want to throw in a little extra! The online bookmaker is offering Best Tote or SP + 20% in the Ballarat Cup, which means an additional 20% on your winnings!
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