The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Mark & Levi Kavanagh-trained First Immortal is firm favourite to claim victory in Wednesday’s Geelong Cup 2023 field as the up-and-comer continues to chase a start in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
A key lead-up into the ‘race that stops a nation’ takes place at the midweek meeting with a talented line-up of stayers facing off in the Group 3 $500,000 Geelong Cup (2400m).
The Geelong Cup has a good history of providing genuine Melbourne Cup contenders including three internationals to do the double: Media Puzzle (2002), Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011).
First Immortal pays $2.60 in the Geelong Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to salute on Wednesday on the back of a good second in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington.
The consistent Churchill four-year-old has won seven of his 14 starts to date but The Bart Cummings, where he went down 0.75 lengths to Future History, was his firsts Group assignment.
He was out wide that day (16 of 16) with 54kg and has the same weight here wide again.
Originally drawn barrier 15 the favourite comes into gate 13 with the current Geelong Cup scratchings: Spanish Mission (11), Sheraz (12) and Fancy Man (17).
First Immortal is 37th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry for the November 7 classic ahead of Wednesday’s race.
The danger at current Geelong Cup odds of $6 is the market mover Ashrun drawn the rails for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.
Last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup winning jockey Mark Zahra has the ride third-up on the Authorized eight-year-old who remains lightly-raced for his age having his 17th start on Wednesday.
The French-bred gelding ran fourth to Steel Prince in the 2020 Geelong Cup, won that year’s Lexus and then ran 10th in the Melbourne Cup when prepared by Andreas Wholer in Germany.
He had a huge break from racing spending over two years on the sidelines before returning this spring for Maher & Eustace.
Since his let-up the galloper has had two runs with the latest producing a sixth in The Bart Cummings under three lengths beaten when carrying 59kg.
He is back to 56.5kg now which is the current Geelong Cup top-weight with Spanish Mission (60kg) withdrawn.
The other best in betting are the Liam Howley-trained ATC Derby runner-up from the autumn Virtuous Circle ($6.50) and the imported More Felons ($7.50) having his first Australian run for Chris Waller.
Almanzor four-year-old Virtuous Circle is already assured of a run in the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field sitting 17th on the ballot, while European expat More Felons is 30th on the order of entry needing a win on Wednesday.
Despite scratching Sheraz from the field Waller still saddles-up four Geelong Cup hopefuls with More Felons joined by Timour ($101), Magical Lagoon ($19) and Mr Waterville ($17) to be ridden by Craig Williams.
2023 Geelong Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||4x339x3x78||SPANISH MISSION (USA)||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Blake Shinn||11||60kg||110|
|2||5x22410x76||ASHRUN (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Mark Zahra||1||56.5kg||103|
|3||1x1430x003||KING FRANKEL (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||3||56kg||102|
|4||72x295x080||SHERAZ (FR)||Chris Waller||12||56kg||102|
|5||15x0x06x90||MAGICAL LAGOON (IRE)||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||5||55kg||104|
|6||11265x728x||MORE FELONS (IRE)||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||10||55kg||100|
|7||2x8802x090||VIRTUOUS CIRCLE (NZ)||Liam Howley||Damian Lane||4||55kg||100|
|8||2x858x5861||FANCY MAN (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||John Allen||17||54.5kg||99|
|9||13x5840x70||HIGH EMOCEAN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Harry Coffey||16||54kg||102|
|10||x1390x7040||SIR LUCAN (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Linda Meech||2||54kg||98|
|11||5x83300x95||AMADE (IRE)||Phillip Stokes||Zac Spain||13||54kg||97|
|12||9x0050x806||MOUNT POPA (IRE)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||14||54kg||97|
|13||111011×212||FIRST IMMORTAL||Mark & Levi Kavanagh||Ms Jamie Kah||15||54kg||96|
|14||x7043100x0||TIMOUR (FR)||Chris Waller||Beau Mertens||9||54kg||95|
|15||1×23136713||FERAGO||Patrick F Ryan Jnr||Harry Grace||6||54kg||84|
|16||312x18x740||MR WATERVILLE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||7||54kg||84|
|17||1x558x3641||THE MAP||Dan Clarken & Oopy MacGillivray||Ben Price (a)||8||54kg||79|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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