The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Trainer Chris Waller saddles-up five of the seven remaining runners in the Winter Cup 2020 field at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday including the clear favourite Wu Gok in the mile and a half feature.
There were originally eight final acceptors for this year’s $150,000 Listed Winter Cup (2400m) before the early withdrawal of French Response (4).
Waller has a stranglehold over the Winter Cup field numbers-wise and it is his 59.5kg topweight Wu Gok tipped to win from barrier three with Adam Hyeronimus in the saddle.
Wu Gok rises in weight from his first-up run when making a mess of his rivals with a nearly four length victory in the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) in the wet at Rosehill on May 30 where he carried 56.5kg to victory.
That was an impressive when fresh and the Sebring six-year-old presents fitter second-up against a smaller field on Saturday looking to improve on his dead last (11th) in the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) back in March at his last 2400m run.
Wu Gok pays $2.60 in the latest Winter Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and is followed in the markets closely by stablemates The Lord Mayor ($3.90) and Yulong Price ($4.20).
Kiwi-bred Rock ‘N’ Pop gelding The Lord Mayor will be ridden by Hugh Bowman of Winx fame, the galloper coming off a third in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and with a nice finishing burst shapes-up as a solid top three chance again.
Runner-up in the same lead-up race, Yulong Prince in barrier two with James McDonald aboard is also being kept safe in Winter Cup betting.
A dual acceptor for the weekend, Waller also originally had the South African-bred Gimmethegreenlight entire in the mix for the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) in Brisbane.
The five-year-old scratched out of that Eagle Farm feature in favour of a home run in Sydney where he chases his first win since the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m) at Flemington last November.
“All three of them are in good order,” Waller told Racenet this week speaking of his Lord Mayors Cup trifecta.
“There are positives and negatives with each of them compared to the race two weeks ago.
“Wu Gok will have to carry more weight and 2400m is probably as far as he wants.
“Last start was the first time he’d won first-up from a spell and he does get better as he progresses through his preparation. There is no reason he won’t run well from what we have seen every morning.
“Yulong Prince has been up a while now and it’s the first time we’re pushing him out to the 2400m.
“He was looking more like a miler but his riders on race day and in the mornings say he is feeling like a stayer that will relish the longer trip so we are giving him his chance to prove it.
“The Lord Mayor’s record says he is probably better around 2000m but he’s won at the 2400m and run some very good races around the trip. He is now fourth-up so he should be just about perfect in his fitness levels.
“He gets back but with the smaller field and better barrier he is likely to not to be giving away as bigger start as last time.”
Carzoff ($9) and the rails-drawn Pierro mare Gyatri ($10) round out the Waller contingent.
Outside of the Waller runners, the best fancied for an upset is the Hawkes Racing-trained market mover Scarlet Dream ($13 into $11) before German Group 3 winner Sweet Thomas ($21) for Matthew Smith rounds out the line-up.
Four-year-old Sebring mare Scarlet Dream was 5.3 lengths away sixth in the Lord Mayor’s Cup, last year’s ATC Oaks runner-up after her first win since a Class 1 at Newcastle in November of 2018.
Click here for the latest Winter Cup 2020 betting odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2020 Winter Cup Field & Barriers
|Form (Last 10)
|YULONG PRINCE (SAF)
|THE LORD MAYOR (NZ)
|Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
|SWEET THOMAS (GER)
|Robbie Dolan (a)
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