The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Wednesday sees two horses chase the Caulfield Cup 2019 start on offer to the winner of the Group 3 Ladbrokes Coongy Cup at Caulfield Racecourse on Blue Sapphire Stakes Day.
There are 13 final acceptors in the Group 3 $200,000 Ladbrokes Coongy Cup (2000m) field, but just two remain eligible for the ballot free ride into Saturday’s Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Previously held on Caulfield Cup Day, the Coongy Cup now runs three days prior offering an eleventh-hour position in the coveted mile and a half handicap run back at the track on the Saturday.
The Coongy Cup winner is ballot-exempt for the Caulfield Cup, but must be among the current acceptances for the Group 1.
Of the 44 Caulfield Cup entries still in the mix, two run in the Coongy Cup field with the Chris Waller-trained topweight Yulong Prince and the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Wolfe.
South African-bred Gimmethegreenlight entire Yulong Prince carries 58kg from barrier four with Mark Zahra booked for the ride.
The import has had three unplaced runs down under to date this season, the latest seeing him cross 3.5 lengths back eighth behind upset winner Black Heart Bart in Caulfield’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Yulong Prince now drops in grade and is an early market mover backed in from $6 to $4.40 in the Coongy Cup odds at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au.
He sits 41st on the Caulfield Cup ballot order currently and is a $101 roughie shot in pre-field betting on the classic.
Wolfe is also rated $101 to win the Caulfield Cup, the son of Novellist last seen running a brave third behind Melbourne Cup-bound Surprise Baby in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) on October 5.
The galloper leads Ladbrokes Coongy Cup betting at $3.70 with Linda Meech to ride from barrier seven on 54kg, the drop in distance to suit the well-positioned galloper.
Following closely in the Coongy Cup markets at $3.90 is the rails-drawn Oceanex to be ridden by the in-form Jamie Kah.
The Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) trained mare is a well-bred four-year-old daughter of Ocean Park who has finished out of the money just once in her 10 career starts.
Two back she placed under a length back third to Princess Jenni in The Valley’s Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) before her lead-up second over 2025m at Cranbourne on October 11.
Narrowly beaten as the odds-on favourite in that race, Oceanex comes right back from 59.5kg to 54kg in the Coongy Cup weights so should be flying home on the quick back-up
Rounding out the single-figure fancies in the race is then the widely-drawn Nelson ($8) in gate 12 first-up.
The Liam Howley-trained Frankel gelding debuts for connections at Team Williams in the event not having won since April of 2018.
The import hasn’t had a race start in over a year, but could be a surprise performer fresh in this grade.
Following the Ladbrokes Coongy Cup results the official Caulfield Cup field for 2019 will be confirmed.
Betting on both Caulfield events is now open at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2019 Coongy Cup Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||221x00x798||YULONG PRINCE (SAF)||Chris Waller||Mark Zahra||4||58kg||104|
|2||2x1635678x||NELSON (IRE)||Liam Howley||Brett Prebble||12||57kg||102|
|3||9517469×07||KIWIA||Archie Alexander||Damian Lane||9||56.5kg||101|
|4||254x319x09||MIDTERM (GB)||Michael & Luke Cerchi||Kerrin McEvoy||5||56kg||100|
|5||16x8756x01||PUSHIN’ SHAPES||Daniel & Ben Pearce||Damien Oliver||3||54kg||95|
|6||1x211x1853||WOLFE (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Linda Meech||7||54kg||95|
|7||219155x9x0||SPANISH STEPS (IRE)||Liam Howley||Anthony Darmanin||2||54kg||94|
|8||02652244×2||SIN TO WIN (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Luke Nolen||8||54kg||93|
|9||3531320×56||TOP OF THE RANGE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Michael Dee||6||54kg||89|
|10||03x00x9704||MURAAQEB||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||13||54kg||88|
|11||x514118x21||SINGLE HANDED||Nick Smart||Dwayne Dunn||10||54kg||87|
|12||7x32160x65||LUCKY FOR ALL (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Jye McNeil||11||54kg||81|
|13||21119×3232||OCEANEX (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Jamie Kah||1||54kg||81|
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