The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
A small line-up of potential Melbourne Cup horses faces off in the time-honoured Bendigo Cup 2022 field this Wednesday as the countdown to the world’s richest handicap continues.
The Group 1 $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) runs at Flemington on Tuesday November 1, and this week’s Group 3 $500,000 Bendigo Cup (2400m) serves as a late lead-up into the iconic two-mile showdown.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Ocean Park mare High Emocean currently heads Bendigo Cup betting at $3.10 and firming through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Drawn barrier four with Harry Coffey to ride, the six-year-old is looking to further frank the form out of this year’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2510m).
High Emocean was a two-length Flemington win at the same track and distance on a Soft track two back where she defeated Mohican Heights and 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare.
She was far from disgraced in a stirring edition of The Bart Cummings when sixth, only 1.4 lengths off the winner Lunar Flare.
Lunar Flare went on to run second in her failed Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) title defence on Cox Plate Day, a race won in emphatic fashion by 3.75 length winner Francesco Guardi who came off an unlucky second in The Bart Cummings.
High Emocean is 33rd on the Melbourne Cup ballot and is using Wednesday’s race to hopefully win a penalty and make the 24-horse final field for which she’s only rated a $101 roughie to take out.
Occupying the second line of Bendigo Cup betting at $4 is the flying Julius Sandhu-trained Port Phillip in gate seven with Craig Newitt aboard.
The in-form Camelot five-year-old comes off four straight wins, the latest a narrow victory over 2400m at Caulfield on a Soft (7) on October 12.
He was stronger on Heavy tracks in September including a 4.5 length 2050m victory at Mornington with 58.5kg and a Flemington success with 57.5kg over 2550m two back.
Another horse among the 34 Melbourne Cup fourth declarations taken on Monday racing in Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup field is the Chris Waller-trained Crystal Pegasus.
Twenty-second on the Melbourne Cup order of entry, Waller’s Australia six-year-old carries the 58kg top-weight in the Bendigo Cup and is an early market mover into $7.50.
He hasn’t won a race since stringing together four on the trot over the autumn including his Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) victory.
The galloper has been well-beaten in all subsequent runs finishing towards the tail end of the field in races including the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), but will relish an easier grade of rivals this week.
In an open midweek market, the other horses at single-figure Bendigo Cup odds this spring are the Matt Cumani-trained Fiorente entire Nobel Heights ($6.50), the autumn’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks winner Glint Of Hope ($7) and the rails-drawn Verimli ($7.50) for goliath owner Lloyd Williams.
2022 Bendigo Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||11119×9000||CRYSTAL PEGASUS (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||5||58kg||100|
|2||x12310x654||GLINT OF HOPE (JPN)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Daniel Moor||3||55.5kg||99|
|3||29x25x3416||HIGH EMOCEAN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Harry Coffey||4||54.5kg||97|
|4||7794230×05||DADOOZDART (GB)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||8||54kg||82|
|5||2x840x7x26||VERIMLI (FR)||Robert Hickmott||Anthony Darmanin||1||54kg||81|
|6||253x5211x4||NOBEL HEIGHTS||Matt Cumani||Jordan Childs||6||54kg||78|
|7||x432x61111||PORT PHILIP (IRE)||Julius Sandhu||Ethan Brown||7||54kg||77|
|8||75544×9742||WERTHEIMER (NZ)||Matthew Enright||Ms Alana Kelly (a)||2||54kg||70|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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