Cepheus Heads 2023 The Big Dance Field & Betting on Melbourne Cup Day

November 3, 2023

Cepheus Heads 2023 The Big Dance Field & Betting on Melbourne Cup Day

The talented Matthew Dunn-trained Cepheus is favourite to carry the top-weight to victory in Randwick’s 2023 The Big Dance race field in Sydney on Melbourne Cup Day.

Cepheus

The Alan Brown winner Cepheus is favourite to carry the top-weight to victory in Randwick’s 2023 The Big Dance race on Melbourne Cup Day in Sydney. Photo: Steve Hart.

On the same day Flemington hosts the 163rd edition of the iconic Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m), Sydney will also feature a multi-million race on Tuesday with the second running of the $3 million The Big Dance (1600m).

A capacity line-up of 20 of the best Country Cup horses getting around faces off in The Big Dance field with Sea The Stars seven-year-old Cepheus donning the No. 1 saddlecloth and carrying the 62kg top-weight.

Despite his hefty weight allocation, the classy chestnut is favourite in The Big Dance betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.60 to salute from the inside alley with Nash Rawiller in the saddle.

Cepheus has won three of his past four starts and comes off two good victories at Rosehill.

Two back he won the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) before his narrow win on October 7 with 59kg in the $1.5 million The Alan Brown (1400m).

He is up in weight and distance but was good saluting with 62kg in July’s South Grafton Cup over the distance and is tipped to handle the challenge and these rivals on Tuesday.

The danger occupying the second line of The Big Dance betting at $6.50 is Bjorn Baker’s airborne four-year-old Iknowastar who chases a fifth win on the trot.

Tyler Schiller comes aboard the ultra-consistent Star Witness gelding who came up trumps with barrier three for his first Randwick assignment.

The horse is unbeaten with a perfect five-from-five record over The Big Dance distance and is up over a mile for the first time since he won the Dubbo Cup in race record time on September 10.

The speedster was also flying when saluting at Kensington in a Benchmark 78 over 1550m last time out carrying 61kg to another track record victory.

He comes right back in weight to 53kg for his grand final and will be hard to hold out with the big weight advantage.

Despite the bumper size of the field just two other The Big Dance contenders are currently at single-figures for the win with the Chris Waller-trained Wagga Cup winner from May Wicklow ($9) and Wategos ($9.50) who is another in the mix for Baker.

Seven-time winning Capitalist gelding Wategos is two-from-three at a mile and was far from disgraced at the track on October 21 when three lengths back eighth in the $1 million The Five Diamonds Prelude (1500m).

He had a wide alley that day and is drawn better with barrier eight in The Big Dance, and he comes back from 56kg to 52kg with Jay Ford in the saddle.

Other notable hopes being kept relatively safe in The Big Dance odds include mile specialist Akasawa ($10) drawn right out near the carpark with barrier 20, the Sara Ryan-trained Attractable ($11) who finished fourth in The Alan Brown last start, the Joe Pride-trained King Of the Castle ($12) coming off a confidence-boosting Randwick win, and fellow last-start winner Superium ($14) for Team Hawkes.

The Big Dance is set to run as Randwick Race 5 at 2:20pm (AEDT) on the 10-race Sydney card on Tuesday about 40 minutes before the 2023 Melbourne Cup field jumps at 3:00pm (AEDT) in Flemington Race 7.

Click here for the latest The Big Dance betting markets courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.

2023 The Big Dance Final Field & Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 1023421511 CEPHEUS (GB) Matthew Dunn Nash Rawiller 1 62kg 111
2 1112x19x00 BANJU Lyle Chandler Jean Van Overmeire 15 58kg 100
3 72761141×4 ATTRACTABLE Sara Ryan Regan Bayliss 7 56.5kg 97
4 25x45137x3 WICKLOW (IRE) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 2 55.5kg 95
5 08795×9631 SUPERIUM Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Adam Hyeronimus 10 55kg 94
6 0x54131x00 COMMANDO HUNT Cameron Crockett Reece Jones 21 54.5kg 93
7 52x18711x7 AKASAWA Paul Messara & Leah Gavranich Chad Schofield 20 54kg 87
8 1119×41111 IKNOWASTAR Bjorn Baker Tyler Schiller 3 53kg 90
9 8x56251x06 CAMAGUEY Kim Waugh Tom Sherry 22 53kg 78
10 x912624312 HOLLYWOOD HERO (NZ) Bjorn Baker Jason Collett 19 53kg 76
11 4544534717 FULL PRESS Brett Dodson Adin Thompson 17 53kg 70
12 1917322×81 KING OF THE CASTLE (NZ) Joseph Pride Ms Kathy O’Hara 16 52kg 88
13 416×411128 WATEGOS Bjorn Baker Jay Ford 8 52kg 87
14 438910×517 SUPER HELPFUL Barbara Joseph, Paul & Matt Jones Andrew Adkins 11 52kg 85
15 3380351×57 PRINCE OF HELENA Craig Weeding Jake Duffy 6 52kg 82
16 78304×5272 HIGHLIGHTS Bjorn Baker Brock Ryan 5 52kg 79
17 32120×0050 HIGH COURT Rodney Northam Grant Buckley 12 52kg 78
18 57001740×0 UNAMERICAN Richard & Will Freedman Ms Anna Roper (a), (late alt) 18 52kg 68
19 195234×003 CRACKALACKA Theresa Bateup Ms Molly Bourke (a) 4 52kg 66
20 140×663567 MANDERBOSS (NZ) Barbara Joseph, Paul & Matt Jones Quayde Krogh 9 52kg 66
21e 5501844×04 PEPPER’S GHOST Brett Cavanough 24 52kg 66
22e 139×225325 KNIFE’S EDGE Garry Lunn 14 54kg 65
23e 743×707130 JUST A BROTHER Terry Croft 13 54kg 64
24e x80020x506 LION’S ROAR (NZ) John O’Shea 23 56.5kg 97

Table Credit: Racing Australia.


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