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The Mount Gambier Cup

It might just be a $40k country cup to most people, but this is my home town Cup, the biggest day of the year for the South Australian city of Mount Gambier. It's not a bad little field either with the usual regional trainers leading the charge.

The Scott Group Mt Gambier Cup 2400m

1. Hissing Sid
Did nothing in the Warrnambool Cup, a race he won last year, but did draw the outside with top weight, was wide the whole way with an average jockey aboard on a heavy track in a much tougher race, so plenty of reasons to forgive him. Carries top weight again, switches to a better jockey in Chad Lever but too many noughts in his recent form to think he can regain top form here.

2. Texan Warney
Second (as favourite) in the recent Millicent Cup held just up the road at Penola, a rather tight track, then bridesmaid again in the Listed Port Adelaide Cup at Morphettville last weekend. Meets the placegetters from Penola slightly worse off at the weights and has drawn the outside gate. Good strike rate of ten wins from 45 starts, will go close.

3. Club Royale
Won the cheaper Naracoorte Cup back in February but was well beaten in the Millicent Cup a fortnight ago. Big jockey change, switching to Noel Callow, a jockey who normally wouldn't ride at a meeting this low on the schedule, he could be the factor which helps this horse convert his love of running second (11 times from 52 starts) into wins (just six so far).

4. Swooper
Did nothing at Warrnambool on the heavy track but had decent Adelaide form before that. Stablemate of Texan Warney and looks to be the weaker chance of the pair.

5. Evenmoreaction
Locally trained by Michael O'Leary (used to live next to him many years ago), this horse won the Millicent Cup with a canny on-pace ride from Jason Holder. He won't be aboard today though, being replaced by Linda Meech which won't be a disadvantage. Was close up at the 'Bool behind the flying Magnifique Soleil before that run, and arrives here in peak condition - it's the race that O'Leary regularly primes his stable stars for. Drawn six and likely to go forward. Has won three from eight here and should start favourite.

6. The Black Oak
Outclassed in the Warrnambool Cup when he tried to lead all the way, probably had the bias against him too after nearly 30 races for the week. Beaten a nose in the Hamilton Cup (slightly higher level to this) at his previous start when he bolted down the back to a 6L lead, and runners out of that race have since run very well in Adelaide and at the 'Bool. Nagging doubt though is his formline this time in - 00820. He has a 2kg claiming apprentice aboard and has completed a hurdle trial since his last run, pointing out where his future lies. Could steal this if he got a cheap lead, but I can see Evenmorereaction being perched on his shoulder the whole way and pressuring him out of it at the dogleg down the home straight.

7. Risk It All
Another O'Leary horse in the same ownership as well. Ran a close-up third in the Millicent Cup, and was blocked at early in the straight so might have gone even closer. Won the Edenhope Cup four starts back but this is far stronger. One for the exotics, can't see him winning unless it rains heavily in the next few hours.

8. Telesmon
Beaten 3.5L in the Warrnambool Cup, that's good enough to win this. Drawn in the middle of the track, ridden by Dean Yendall who will have a pool room full of country cup trophies. Nicely weighted and should sit midfield, big chance.

9. Viva Delspec
Well beaten in the Millicent Cup, only sign of form this campaign was a third in the Stawell Cup but has been flat since then. Best asset today is Clare Lindop takes the ride, might improve if takes a closer sit than recent runs.

10. General Mackjosh
10 years old and getting beaten comfortably in weaker races. No hope.

11. Borat
Beat Telesmon 1.3L recently at the Bool, but was in receipt of 4kg. Today they're on level weights. Drawn wide, gets back and runs on, blow out chance if the pace is hard up front. One for the exotics.

12. Rikbat
The smokey in the mix, one without any links to his rivals in recent runs. Has been running in weaker races on the outskirts of Adelaide, and recently had a hurdle trial. Does have the services of a significantly better (and in-form) jockey here in Adrian Patterson, could make a considerable difference. Probably not quite up to these, but with 1122 next to his name, he's rock hard fit and should be thrown in the placings for the exotics.

SELECTIONS
Telesmon (showing 8.0 on Betfair currently)
Evenmoreaction
Texan Warney
Rikbat

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