The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
One of the genuine winter feature races runs on Thursday afternoon and below are our insider 2017 Grafton Cup betting tips plus the latest odds on the staying showdown.
Heading the 15-horse field for this season’s $160,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) allocated the 59kg top weight is Kiwi raider Benzini.
The Adrian & Harry Bull-trained Group 2 winner and Group 1 placegetter though is only rated a $12 chance in the latest Grafton Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to handle the weight and atone for his unplaced sixth in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) last time out.
The Grafton Cup betting favourite at $3 is the Caloundra Cup winner Supply And Demand, despite the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained four-year-old going up from 55.5kg to 58.5kg and drawing the outside alley.
His biggest rival according to the bookies at $4.80 is the Chris Waller-trained Montauk on just 54kg with Corey Brown riding the in-form More Than Ready gelding whose lead-up run produced a brave second in Rosehill’s Listed Winter Cup (2400m) on June 1.
So do the bookies have the predicted Grafton Cup results right or is there value to be found further down the markets tipping a longer-priced stayer such as Jason Coyle’s Tattersall’s Cup runner-up in Brisbane last time out More Energy ($9), third-placed mare in the same race War Baby ($10), the rails-drawn Allzin ($16) or even the Grafton Cup Prelude winner First Crush ($26) at big odds?
#3 Montauk ($4.80)
Happy to get behind the best-weighted horse in the race and that’s Waller’s four-year-old who gets in on the 54kg minimum. He carried the same kilos to the eye-catching Winter Cup second over the mile and a half at Rosehill earlier in the month, gets the two weeks between runs and has now seen the distance so can improve. He’s been on fire and two back was only 1.3 lengths third behind Supply And Demand over 2000m at Rosehill. Supply And Demand goes up from 52.5kg six kilos on Saturday so Montauk is weighted to turn the tables.
#11 First Crush ($26)
Huge price offered for this Chris Munce-trained Husson five-year-old who held on for a narrow Grafton Cup Prelude (2215m) win here on June 6. The double was done last winter, but the bookies are taking a chance and don’t rate history to repeat. He’s proven at the track, comes back from 55.5kg 54kg and gets the run of the race from barrier five with Robert Thompson in the saddle. Genuine place chance at the blowout price coming into the race in top form.
#6 War Baby ($10)
This progressive mare has been one of the surprise performers of the winter. Prepared at Beaudesert by Kelvin Hickmott and hasn’t put a foot wrong all prep. Won over 2150m at Ipswich by six and a half lengths on June 17 before the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) third. Backed-up in the Caloundra Cup, the form of which could be the one to follow into the Grafton Cup, and showed-up again crossing just two lengths back third to Supply And Demand. She stays on 54kg and Larry Cassidy retains the ride.
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