The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Sydney Cup 2017 nominations for the April 8 classic during this season’s The Championships are now out and the Japanese raiders are out in force.
Early entries for the 10 Royal Randwick feature races held on April 1 and 8 for The Championships this autumn closed on Monday including those for the $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m).
Among the official 99 Sydney Cup nominations for 2017 are 11 Japanese-trained stayers.
Included in the Japanese crew are the likes of the emerging Meiner Sage and Group 2 placed stallion Tanta Alegria.
The international raid on this year’s Sydney Cup field is tipped to be stronger than ever with plenty of other European entries for the two mile classic.
Ireland’s William Mullins has entered his veteran Clondaw Warrior along with the 2015 Melbourne Cup runner-up Max Dynamite and Wicklow Brave who won last September’s Irish St Leger.
Perennial Melbourne Cup second-placed trainer with Red Cadeaux, Ed Dunlop is also in with a Sydney Cup hope this autumn nominating for Trip To Paris who ran fourth in the 2015 Melbourne Cup down under.
Chris Waller has seven stayers nominated for the Sydney Cup this season, the master trainer having won the race twice before with Stand To Gain (2011) and Grand Marshal (2015).
He also prepared Grand Marshal for his second in the Sydney Cup quinella last season and the 2016 third placed Libran, who are both nominated again in 2017.
Current Sydney Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Waller’s Melbourne Cup Day winner Kinema ($10) whose only other Australian run to date was a fourth in the Geelong Cup.
Waller’s other top early hopes in futures Sydney Cup betting include flying four-year-old Antonio Guiseppe ($12) last seen running second in The Metropolitan back in October, and multiple Sydney and Melbourne Cups placed Who Shot Thebarman ($12).
The defending Sydney Cup winner Gallante is in the mix again for trainer Robert Hickmott, the Lloyd Williams-owned six-year-old looking to go back-to-back in the race for the first time since Tie The Knot (1998-99).
Hickmott has a total of nine nominees with other standouts from the stable including Almandin, Amralah and the imported Bondi Beach.
Super-consistent Monsun seven-year-old Almandin is at $12 in pre-field Sydney Cup markets after winning three on the trot in the spring including of course the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) as a $10 shot in betting on the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Other notable early entries include the untapped John Sargent-trained Encosta De Lago four-year-old Esteban, Lee & Anthony Freedman’s European import Exospheric who ran third in last year’s Caulfield Cup and his Doomben Cup winning stablemate Our Ivanhowe.
Sydney Cup first acceptances close on Tuesday March 7, 2017.
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