Godolphin’s three-time Group 1 champion Avilius...
A ballot exemption into the Caulfield Cup is on offer in Melbourne this weekend with a quality field of stayers in the mix for the MRC Foundation Cup 2020 on Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day.
Formerly known as the Naturalism Stakes, this season’s Group 3 $160,000 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) field is still set to run at capacity with 16 starters despite four early scratchings.
Among the withdrawn horses from the MRC Foundation Cup field are the two original top-weights: Mirage Dancer (61kg) and Group 1 winner Cape Of Good Hope (60.5kg).
Mirage Dancer, last seen finishing seventh in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m), is instead being saved by Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young for Moonee Valley’s Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) Friday week on Moir Stakes Night.
Updated MRC Foundation Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are dominated by the Danny O’Brien-trained import Orderofthegarter at $3.70 and firming to break through with a win after a string of frustrating seconds.
The Spring Cups-bound Galileo entire may be a seven-year-old, but he is only lightly raced having had just 11 starts to date for two wins and six seconds.
Three of those starts have been down under, and the latest two with O’Brien.
Orderofthegarter was Group 1 performed in Europe back in 2017 before spending over a year on the sidelines before racing just the once in 2018 in Melbourne.
After nearly two years off the scene, he arrived with a bang for last year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainer O’Brien in late July and caught the eye when only a neck beaten over 2000m at Caulfield on August 29.
With less weight from gate four with Damien Oliver aboard this weekend, the MRC Foundation Cup favourite looks a genuine chance to secure the ballot free ride into the Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) back at the track on October 17.
The danger occupying the second line of MRC Foundation Cup betting at $5 is the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Scone Cup winner Dr Drill (59kg).
Ace hoop Craig Williams partners the Dansili six-year-old second-up having ridden him fresh when fifth, only 1.6 lengths beaten in the Heatherlie from a wide gate (13 of 16).
The Heatherlie Handicap winner In Good Health also backs-up in the old Naturalism Stakes on Saturday, Peter Moody’s in-form mare chasing her third win on the trot.
She was impressive from gate 15 of 16 with Luke Nolen giving her a patient ride for her shock win as a $51 outsider last time out.
The daughter of Congrats gets into the MRC Foundation Cup with 55kg, but will have to be good again coming up with another outside alley and is listed at $20 for another upset.
Shorter in the markets are the likes the Chris Waller-trained Kinane ($7.50) looking to return to her better form and Tony & Calvin McEvoy’s consistent Fastnet Rock four-year-old Game Keeper ($7.50).
Game Keeper comes off back-to-back thirds having finished off narrow trifectas in both the Group 3 Aurie’s Star at Flemington down the straight and the Heatherlie at Caulfield last time out.
2020 MRC Foundation Cup Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||30x03643x7||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||13||61kg||108|
|2||x100x80x00||CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (IRE)||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Jamie Mott||5||60.5kg||106|
|3||115x3010x5||DR DRILL (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Williams||6||59kg||103|
|4||0386x051x9||HAKY (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Declan Bates||15||59kg||103|
|5||11x3103x09||SHARED AMBITION (IRE)||Chris Waller||9||59kg||103|
|6||111x4679x0||STEEL PRINCE (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jye McNeil||3||58.5kg||102|
|7||0932148116||MAHAMEDEIS||Nick Ryan||Rhys McLeod||1||57.5kg||100|
|8||874x9748x0||GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR)||Archie Alexander||Damian Lane||7||56.5kg||98|
|9||15627x2x22||ORDEROFTHEGARTER (IRE)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||4||56kg||97|
|10||410x38x311||IN GOOD HEALTH||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||17||55kg||98|
|11||36x953125x||CHAPADA||Michael Moroney||Daniel Stackhouse||8||55kg||94|
|12||x615129x33||DABIYR (IRE)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||2||55kg||94|
|13||x652x02524||POLLY GREY (NZ)||Chris Waller||John Allen||12||55kg||93|
|14||06x1111x33||GAME KEEPER||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||10||55kg||92|
|15||231134×014||THINK WE’RE DUE||Andrew Noblet||William Pike||16||55kg||92|
|16||21112x08x0||DJUKON (GB)||Chris Waller||19||55kg||91|
|17e||x34923x4x7||THE KING (IRE)||Lindsey Smith||Dean Yendall||20||55kg||87|
|18e||2x2113x50||KINANE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||14||55kg||85|
|19e||81x4143x15||SUPER GIRL||Josh Julius||Billy Egan||11||55kg||80|
|20e||x84109x111||SHANDY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||18||55kg||79|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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