The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
This afternoon in country Victoria the Bendigo Cup 2015 takes place featuring a quality line-up of stayers, betting tips for the mile and a half handicap found below.
Leading the current Bendigo Cup betting markets at $4.20 is the nicely-drawn John Sargent-trained Alamosa mare Kirramosa.
She gets in on 54.5kg, dropping from 56kg last start, with Chris Parnham booked for the ride.
The former Kiwi hasn’t won a race since November of 2013 as a three-year-old taking out the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) and is set to appreciate the step up in distance here.
She also drops in class on the back of two Group 1 Sydney runs at Randwick, the latest of which was a 4.4 length effort behind Chris Waller’s subsequent Cox Plate superstar Winx in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
The other best fancied in the Bendigo Cup odds this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival are the Team Hawkes-trained six-year-old Leebaz ($5), New Zealand galloper Maygrove ($6) for in-form Caulfield Cup winning trainer Murray Baker and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Sydney Cup winner from last year The Offer ($6.50).
The Offer carries the 59kg top weight today from barrier seven with Michael Walker in the saddle and is after his first win since a first-up victory carrying 61kg in the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) at Hawkesbury back in August.
His last start was a black-type fourth over 2400m at Randwick on October 17 with 61kg.
So can Kirramosa break a two year winning drought with a Bendigo Cup victory this season or is there value further down the markets from the likes of the Robert Hickmott-trained Zabeel four-year-old Divan ($8) dropping from a 57.5kg winning weight over 2000m last start to the 54kg minimum with Damien Oliver retaining the ride from the inside alley?
#4 Maygrove ($6)
Six dollars looks a great price for the Kiwi raider in this field, Authorized five-year-old Maygrove looking to continue Baker’s gun spring that has included a Caulfield Cup victory with Mongolian Khan and a livewire hope for the Emirates Stakes with Turn Me Loose winning the Seymour Cup and a Group 2 on Cox Plate Day. This galloper’s form down under has also been exciting with back-to-back fourths at his two latest Melbourne runs over this sort of distance. The first was behind Let’s Make Adeal in Flemington’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) and then he was five lengths off 2015 Melbourne Cup-bound Almoonqith in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m). Both were strong efforts and he’ll run this trip no issues.
#7 Araldo Junior ($12)
A good run is on the cards for Craig Newitt’s mount, the Michael Moroney-trained import having just his fourth run down under. He has a four-from-eight record to date so is consistent and also boasts winning form back in Europe over 2800m so the 2400m looks ideal. Last start he won the Benalla Cup (2046m) at the start of the month by 1.5k lengths and he gets in on the 54kg minimum again here so can finish in the money with the right run at this distance.
#1 The Offer ($6.50)
A Group 1 winner over the two miles, The Offer must be respected despite his form of late leaving a bit to be desired. He gives away the weight but 59kg is more than manageable for a galloper who has been carting around 61kg recently. Walker ran record time on Criterion for a Cox Plate second last weekend and is in-form taking over for Sam Clipperton in the saddle of Waterhouse’s seven-year-old who hasn’t been beaten by more than two lengths in his three most recent runs since winning the Rowley Mile first-up.
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