The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
A Caulfield Cup ballot exemption for the spring goes up for grabs in Victoria on Saturday with a class line-up of stayers, including a former Melbourne Cup winner, facing off in the 2023 Mornington Cup field.
This year’s Listed $300,000 Neds Mornington Cup (2400m) features a capacity line-up headed by the Danny O’Brien-trained veteran Vow And Declare.
The classy chestnut is best known for his 2019 Melbourne Cup victory, and he has won just the one subsequent race.
He was back in the winners’ stall last November taking out the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m).
This prep Vow And Declare has been racing well again running top four in his three runs most recently beaten just a length when fourth at Rosehill in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m).
Back in Melbourne and down in grade he looks a genuine chance in the Mornington Cup betting markets at $7.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au carrying the 60kg top-weight from gate eight.
Heading the Mornington Cup odds at $3.80 and firming is the widely-drawn favourite Hezashocka for Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr.
The five-year-old son of 2009 Melbourne Cup champ Shocking has been racing very well in top company over the past six months including his third to Zaaki in the spring’s Group 1 VRC Champions Stakes (2000m).
He presents fourth-up and fit this weekend getting out over the mile and a half for the first time since a failed bid in the 2021 Queensland Derby.
Last start Hezashocka produced a fine run at big odds when fourth to international star Dubai Honour in Sydney’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
With winning form up to only 2100m he needs to find another gear here at the 2400m, but the money is coming for him to do just that.
In an open top-half of the market a further two horses are under double-figures for the win including the rails-drawn Nonconformist ($5.50).
The Grahame Begg-trained Rebel Raider gelding was runner-up in this event back in 2021 and went on to place second to Incentivise in that year’s Caulfield Cup results.
Two back he enjoyed a nearly three-length victory in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) first-up at Flemington, while his last start saw him finishing eighth to Cascadian in the Group 1 Australia Cup (2000m) off a wide run with improvement expected from a better barrier on Saturday.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies is the ultra-consistent Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Right You Are ($7.50).
The So You Think six-year-old hit a purple patch in the summer stringing together five wins on the trot from December to March including the Listed Victoria Cup (2100m) and the Australia Cup Prelude (2000m).
His winning streak came to an end when he hit a Heavy (8) track at Sandown Lakeside on April 8th however when second in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2100m).
He is out to atone and looking to bounce back on Saturday in the Mornington Cup looking a strong chance to see out the 2400m without worry.
2023 Mornington Cup Final Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||535601×224||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||John Allen||8||60kg||108|
|2||7x551x80x9||CAMORRA (IRE)||Ben & JD Hayes||Luke Nolen||6||59kg||106|
|3||2x87670x18||NONCONFORMIST||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||1||59kg||106|
|4||x451214x38||GEAR UP (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||4||58kg||104|
|5||120423×054||HEZASHOCKA (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Blake Shinn||14||58kg||104|
|6||3435111112||RIGHT YOU ARE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||10||58kg||104|
|7||35x5302x85||FANCY MAN (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Daniel Moor||5||57.5kg||103|
|8||83807×1128||AURORA’S SYMPHONY||Symon Wilde||Ms Linda Meech||9||55.5kg||99|
|9||64260×9946||BENAUD||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||11||55kg||98|
|10||82×6932211||REBEL RACER||Amy & Ash Yargi||Craig Newitt||15||55kg||98|
|11||600×752213||SWORDS DRAWN||Michael Moroney||Daniel Stackhouse||2||55kg||98|
|12||6111123×01||PORT PHILIP (IRE)||Julius Sandhu||Ms Celine Gaudray (a)||12||54kg||89|
|13||8381307×73||HERMAN HESSE (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Michael Dee||3||54kg||86|
|14||24142×5650||YAPHET||Cliff Brown||Harry Coffey||13||54kg||84|
|15e||64533×6871||CABOCHE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jye McNeil||7||54kg||81|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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