The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Damien Oliver has found himself back on Melbourne Cup winner Almandin who is the favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) on day two of The Championships at Randwick.
Headline jockey Kerrin McEvoy rode Almandin to victory in the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington and also steered the Lloyd Williams owned import to win the Group 1 $1.5m Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on March 31.
Oliver has also been a regular rider on Almandin with the pair teaming up for wins in the Listed $120,000 italktravel Harry White Classic (2400m) at Caulfield and the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington before his Melbourne Cup victory and also in the Listed $120,000 Japan Racing Association Trophy (2500m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Almandin has been allocated 57kg top weight for the Sydney Cup and sits at the top of the market order at $3.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Liam Howley trainer stablemate Aloft at $6.50.
McEvoy has been switched to the stablemate who only has 51kg in the Sydney Cup and Aloft has done his Sydney Cup lead up preparation in Melbourne with only one Autumn Carnival appearance for a win in the Listed $120,000 3AW Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington on March 3.
McEvoy has also been involved in another major shock jockey switch and will ride last Saturday’s Doncaster Mile winner Happy Clapper in this weekend’s Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), replacing Blake Shinn.
Shinn was board Happy Clapper for his two lengths victory in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick but elected to ride the Darren Weir trained Humidor in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Early betting for the 2018 Sydney Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Almandin, $6.50 Aloft, $9 Prestwick, Sir Charles Road, $10 Ventura Storm, $11 Who Shot Thebarman, $12 Auvray, $15 Libran, Single Gaze, $17 Lord Fandango, Patrick Erin, Peribsen, $21 Alward, Master Of Arts, $26 Fanatic, Harlem, Lizzie L’Amour, Ormito, $31 or better the rest.
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