The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The 2023 Grafton Cup takes place on Thursday and markets on the always-popular showdown this winter are led by the in-form Zoumon from the Waterhouse/Bott stable.
A quality line-up of stayers takes to the track for this year’s Listed $200,000 Grafton Cup (2350m) which headlines the racing action on Day 2 of the Clarence River Jockey Club’s Grafton Cup Carnival.
Sitting top of Grafton Cup betting online through Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.60 to make it three Black-Type wins on the trot is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Zoustar four-year-old Zoumon.
The proven stayer has been the picture of consistency this prep with recent back-to-back wins in Rosehill’s Listed WJ McKell Cup (2000m) and the Sunshine Coast’s Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
Last time out his one-length Caloundra Cup victory was with 54.5 kg on his back, and he’ll need to be good again rising in the weights up to 58.5kg on Thursday with Rachel King in the saddle.
Co-trainer Waterhouse has a top Grafton Cup record preparing four winners since 2005 including her first with bott in 2017 with Supply And Demand who was the last to cart 58.5kg to victory.
The danger occupying the second line of Grafton Cup betting $5 is John O’Shea’s early market mover Benaud drawn out in gate 14 with 55kg for apprentice Tyler Schiller.
The former Group 1 place-getter looked back to his best as the favourite at Wyong last start on July 4 when caring 59kg to a big 6.29 length romp home over 2100m.
The four-year-old Reliable Man grey was eighth to Zoumon the run before with 56kg but meets him better in the weights for their rematch on Thursday in the Grafton Cup field.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies at Grafton Cup odds of $7 is the Annabel Neasham-trained top-weight Spirit Ridge carrying 59kg from gate 12 with Ryan Maloney in the saddle.
The British-bred eight-year-old Nathaniel gelding was last seen running second to Luncies at Eagle Farm in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2400m).
A multiple Group 1 winning veteran he is up in weight here but looks on the improve in an open edition of the Graton Cup.
Neasham saddles-up a total of three runners in the race also represented by her upset Ipswich Cup winner Regal Lion ($12) and French import Bellaciaociao ($21) racing second-up down under.
Others looking for an upset at double-figures include John Sargent’s Dissident six-year-old Outlandos ($10) who won the Stayers Cup (2600m) at Randwick last time out and the Chris Waller-trained Shameless Miss ($11) who was third in the same key lead-up.
2023 Grafton Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||041233×652||SPIRIT RIDGE (GB)||Annabel Neasham||Ryan Maloney||12||59kg||100|
|2||x51165x211||ZOUMON||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||2||58.5kg||99|
|3||109437×016||REGAL LION (NZ)||Annabel Neasham||Ben Thompson||8||58kg||98|
|4||515711×075||IRISH SEQUEL (IRE)||Chris Waller||James Orman||9||56.5kg||95|
|5||174×760035||LONDON BANKER (NZ)||Kelly Schweida||Larry Cassidy||7||56kg||94|
|6||1100016063||TAPPY’S LAD (NZ)||Kerry Taplin||Ms Samantha Collett||5||55.5kg||93|
|7||60×9946581||BENAUD||John O’Shea||Tyler Schiller (a)||14||55kg||92|
|8||111x3222x7||BELLACIAOCIAO (FR)||Annabel Neasham||Damien Thornton||3||54kg||90|
|9||0834984191||OUTLANDOS||John Sargent||Ben Looker||11||54kg||87|
|10||10×6586744||WILD CHAP||Brett Lazzarini||Matthew Palmer||16||54kg||54.5kg||87|
|11||11x77x8973||SHAMELESS MISS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Kyle Wilson-Taylor||10||54kg||85|
|12||6005×41351||OUR BAMBINO||Pat Murphy||Andrew Gibbons||4||54kg||69|
|13||1723×67312||OLYMPIC CLASS||Michael Morrison||Anthony Allen||13||54kg||65|
|14||112×431183||GULF OF TOMINI||Cassandra Schmidt||15||54kg||64|
|15||432x1001x6||BYAKKO (USA)||Donna Grisedale||Jon Grisedale||1||54kg||59|
|16||6781221102||DEVINE FALLS||George Sitek||Morgan Butler||6||54kg||55kg||51|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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