The last Group 1 race of the season in Australia...
This Saturday the lucrative Ballarat Cup 2016 steals the show in country Victoria with a capacity field of stayers accepted to face off in the staying showdown.
Set to run as Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEDT), this season’s $300,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) features a full 18 starters plus four emergencies awaiting a run.
Sitting top of the Ballarat Cup field and weights set to carry a hefty 60kg from a wide barrier 13 draw is Matthew Williams’ Eclipse Stakes winner from last weekend Turnitaround.
The Warrnambool-trained son of Hard Spun carted 58.5kg to a narrow Sandown win in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) last Saturday and is set for a quick back-up on Saturday.
Williams is unsure whether the 2200m will be to his six-year-old’s liking, the galloper only having winning form up to 2000m, but is happy to give the horse a go for a share in the prize money in one of the richest country cup races.
Also out of the Eclipse Stakes and high up the Ballarat Cup weights with 59kg is the Darren Weir-trained third-placed import Lidari.
The veteran eight-year-old Acclamation stallion was defeated under a length under 59kg at Ladbrokes Park on Zipping Classic Day and gets the chance to turn the tables seven days later meeting Turnitaround better in the weights.
Weir will saddle-up a total of four hopefuls in his home town Cup this weekend also accepting for Taiyoo (58.5kg), Auvray (56.5kg) and Lord Van Percy (55kg).
All but one of his four Ballarat Cup horses are drawn double-digits.
Of the quartet his best chance perhaps shapes up as Taiyoo who Brad Rawiller rides on the back of a Kyneton Cup win under 60kg on November 2.
The Haradasun seven-year-old was impressive with that weight posting his first win since Adelaide’s Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) in February of 2015 and will enjoy the 2200m of Saturday’s race.
Drawn the rails and carrying 58.5kg when taking on the boys is the Lindsay Park-trained Rising Romance.
Mark Zahra has the ride on the Group 1 winning Ekraar mare who is out to improve on an eighth in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
Rising Romance has lined-up in 20 Group 1 races over her career for seven placings and a win in the 2014 ATC Oaks.
She is high up the weights on Saturday however and hasn’t been first-past-the-post in a race since February of 2014.
The stable have also accepted for the imported Pilote D’Essai who races in his first Black-Type assignment down under.
His last start produced a ninth over 1800m at Flemington on Oaks Day, but he is down from 59.5kg that run to 54kg on the weekend giving him the chance to improve.
Higher up the ratings and coming off back-to-back provincial cup seconds is the now Wayne Walters-trained Puccini who has been racing well for his new stable.
Other notable Ballarat Cup hopes this spring include the Cindy Alderson-trained recent Sales Cup third placed mare Manageress, the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Nozomi and former Queensland Derby winner Sonntag who ran third in last year’s Ballarat Cup trifecta.
See below for the full Ballarat Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights with markets set for release shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
2016 Ballarat Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Ballarat Race 8 (4:40pm) – 19/11/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||311118×301||TURNITAROUND||Matthew Williams||Blake Shinn||13||60kg||104|
|2||x1xD2x0293||LIDARI (FR)||Darren Weir||John Allen||15||59kg||102|
|3||3540×27408||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||1||58.5kg||105|
|4||757×560031||TAIYOO||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||12||58.5kg||101|
|5||4402846×22||PUCCINI (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Craig Robertson||7||58kg||100|
|6||1x4740x008||AUVRAY (FR)||Darren Weir||TBA||4||56.5kg||97|
|7||106x0x0830||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||TBA||21||56kg||96|
|8||20×9845900||MAGNAPAL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Luke Currie||5||56kg||96|
|9||1519125×67||LORD VAN PERCY (GB)||Darren Weir||TBA||18||55kg||94|
|10||x0730x5950||OBSERVATIONAL (GB)||John Sadler||Luke Nolen||8||55kg||94|
|11||74126×5266||LADY LE FAY (NZ)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||22||54kg||96|
|12||1282×30930||MANAGERESS||Cindy Alderson||Ms Michelle Payne||2||54kg||91|
|13||893×486407||GO DREAMING||Grant Kluske||Darren Gauci||6||54kg||89|
|14||3x67x66142||NOZOMI||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Stephen Baster||10||54kg||89|
|15||x153413x43||SCHERZOSO||Tony McEvoy||Ben Allen (a)||16||54kg||89|
|16||14x1x22529||PILOTE D’ESSAI (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss (a)||19||54kg||87|
|17||000396×990||SONNTAG||Henry Dwyer||Michael Dee (a)||17||54kg||85|
|18||21213×9226||COOL CHAP||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Daniel Stackhouse||3||54kg||83|
|19e||811×099411||GOLDEN OLDIES||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Ms Linda Meech||9||54kg||80|
|20e||211x2x4442||SOMETHING TO SHARE||Dane Smith||TBA||14||54kg||79|
|22e||x912598415||WHITE DOLLAR SIGN||John Thom||Ms Holly McKechnie||11||54kg||72|
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