The last Group 1 race of the season in Australia...
The nicely-bred Heart Of Puissance is tipped as the stayer to beat this Thursday at ‘The Bool’ with the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained galloper sitting top of the 2021 Warrnambool Cup odds.
One of the key country races taking place across the winter, this season’s Listed $250,000 Warrnambool Cup (2350m) field features 16 hopefuls.
It is Puissance De Lune four-year-old Heart Of Puissance heading the Warrnambool Cup betting markets at $4.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au, but the entire is on the drift having eased out from an opening quote of $3.70.
Jockey John Allen comes back aboard the horse for the first time since February and is after his third Warrnambool Cup victory in four years following recent wins on Gallic Chieftain (2018) and Furrion (2019).
Thursday’s favourite is drawn barrier one and was last seen running a close fifth as the beaten odds-on favourite in the Terang Cup (2150m) on April 18 when only a length off the winner Wentwood.
Too Close The Sun (2020) completed the Terang Cup – Warrnambool Cup double last year and 12 months’ on, the Maddie Raymond-trained Pour Moi six-year-old Wentwood is out to emulate the feat.
The British-bred gelding carried a hefty 60kg to victory in that traditional lead-up race with Damian Lane in the saddle and comes back notably in weight with Lane retaining the ride on Thursday at just 54.5kg.
That’s a favourable weight drop and Wentwood is considered one of the main dangers in an open market at $7.
Occupying the second line of betting at $5.50 is Home By Midnight from the Plumpton stables of Patrick Payne, the veteran stayer having his first run at the track.
A rising nine-year-old, Home By Midnight has had just the two runs since last August when he won a 3200m hurdle race in the mud by 11 lengths at Ballarat.
He was flat first-up in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) running 11th on April 3 at 90/1, but showed huge improvement with 62.5kg on his back to cross a close second in the Terang Cup.
For Thursday’s rematch the son of Domesday carries 55kg from a nice barrier eight draw with Michael Dee to ride, the dour stayer likely to improve again third-up over more distance.
The other single-figure fancies are Anthony & Sam Freedman’s 58.5kg topweight Le Don De Vie ($7) and early market mover Hard ‘N’ Tough ($8).
The imported Le Don De Vie was good in his maiden preparation down under last spring running second in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) before a fifth in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
He’s had two runs this year, unplaced in both, but looks a danger getting out over further this week in easer company.
Symon Wilde’s local Hard Spun mare Hard ‘ N’ Tough meanwhile is out to win her home town cup on the back of a lead-up victory in the Stawell Cup (2000m) from April 4.
2021 Warrnambool Cup Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x443125x57||LE DON DE VIE (GB)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||11||58.5kg||102|
|2||40x90x0x05||CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE)||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Damien Thornton||9||55kg||95|
|3||8x00450x89||GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR)||Archie Alexander||Daniel Stackhouse||4||55kg||95|
|4||2610x71x02||HOME BY MIDNIGHT (NZ)||Patrick Payne||Michael Dee||8||55kg||95|
|5||3125116×51||WENTWOOD (GB)||Maddie Raymond||Damian Lane||10||54.5kg||94|
|6||04231×5678||BLENHEIM PALACE (IRE)||Daniel Bowman||Harry Coffey||6||54kg||93|
|7||29x3370x80||DABIYR (IRE)||Lindsey Smith||Declan Bates||15||54kg||91|
|8||230×911106||DECLARES WAR||Matt Cumani||Patrick Moloney||2||54kg||90|
|9||0x22316181||HARD ’N’ TOUGH||Symon Wilde||Dean Yendall||3||54kg||90|
|10||16x9360x65||SOUTH PACIFIC (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jye McNeil (late alt)||5||54kg||89|
|11||x6525x8974||MOONLIGHT MAID||Mitchell Freedman||Will Price (a)||12||54kg||82|
|12||3x40x36215||HEART OF PUISSANCE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||1||54kg||78|
|13||0863840×03||THUNDER CLOUD||Maddie Raymond||Jake Duffy||13||54kg||72|
|14||x07027660x||VEE CECE||Symon Wilde||Craig Newitt||16||54kg||72|
|15||41148×7536||SKY HORSE (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Jamie Kah (late alt)||7||54kg||67|
|16||x55118x986||BUREAUCRAT||Maddie Raymond||Michael Walker||14||54kg||63|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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