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Adelaide Cup preview

The feature race in the holiday racing programme in Australia today is the time-honoured Adelaide Cup. Making his debut on the blog to analyse this G2 staying contest is Joshua Robertson, @joshrobbo44, it's well worth a read.



After several weekends of focus on Melbourne racing with Sydney starting to have their carnival starting the focus is again shifting this time to Adelaide and to Morphettville Racecourse where the 2013 Adelaide Cup will be run.

A race that was a former staying Group 1 that has been downgraded to a Group 2 in recent years just like the Brisbane & Perth Cups. The Adelaide Cup is one of 3 major 3200m races in Australia like the approaching Sydney Cup and the big one the Melbourne Cup.

A field of 20 will take place in the 2013 Adelaide Casino Adelaide Cup:

1-Titch – Barrier 5 – Kevin Myers – Ms Linda Meech

Now an eight year old Titch, who has had most of his recent Australian starts over the jumps in 2012, has had three starts this prep here for a win in the Terang Cup over 1850m back in the beginning of February and a third at Morphettville in the traditional Adelaide Cup lead up the Lord Reims Stakes over 2600m. Sandwiched between these 2 runs was a Mornington Cup start where not even 100m he dumped rider Linda Meech and had a jumps trial win on the 20th of February. Can cope with the distance however the 59kg is a bit of a concern.

2-Tuscan Fire – Barrier 16 – Dan O’Sullivan – Glen Boss

The jumper turned flat staying star is hoping to keep the ride alive for Dan O’Sullivan who early this preparation was preparing Tuscan Fire for a jumps campaign is now going to saddle him up as a live chance in the Adelaide Cup. His form has been excellent and has only had one run where he finished outside the first three this preparation and that was second-up back in November. Last start I thought he was a touch disappointing but did over race in the lead over the 2600m at Flemington and prior to that when sitting off a strong pace he did win the Listed Mornington Cup with ease. His form is consistent and with cups King Glen Boss aboard will be given every chance though barrier 16 is trouble for him, top chance for sure.

3-Talent Show – Barrier 11 – Graham Ballantyne – Jarrad Noske

Talent Show is a talented Mare from Western Australia who won the Perth Cup at long odds back on New Year’s Day, has had two runs since which have been ok, one over 1800m in a Listed race in Perth at Ascot and then last start ran second in the Lord Reims Stakes behind My Ex Mate, she settles generally worse than midfield and her form prior to that Perth Cup win was fair in weaker races although did run well behind Mr Moet at WFA. She gets her Perth Cup winning jockey Jarrad Noske back aboard after Daniel Staeck rode her last start. Another who’s drawn in the middle of the field shouldn’t be a problem given her racing style however having to carrying 57kg against some good horses lower in the weights does concern me. Don’t see her as a winning chance but is worth a first four bet.

4-Norsqui– Barrier 6 – Walter McShane – Chris Symons

The Tasmanian visitor who has had 4 starts this preparation and has been fair in them all with his best finish being a half-length second to The Cleaner in the summer cup at Hobart. His last two runs over the 2400m in the Hobart & Launceston cups have been fair where he was outclassed which I think will be the case again here although he did run third in this race last year although that was coming off a Mornington Cup win in 2012. Is in very capable hands with Chris Symons in the saddle and does carry 56kg and is drawn in barrier 6, happy to go past him and say he can’t win though can’t ignore his 3200m stats with 3 starts for 3 third placings, not a winning chance however don’t dismiss too quickly, first 4 player.

5-You Think So – Barrier 18 – Michael Kent – Brad Rawiller

Another Victorian visitor You Think So comes into this race in good form as had five wins since a freshen up back in September after a poor Warwick Farm run. You Think So comes from a good stable for producing quality stayers and You Think So is no exception, although there are some who say he has been coming through week 3000m Moonee Valley night races, I think his last start win over the 2500m in a Listed race was good enough to make him competitive over here in the Cup and 3200m should not be a concern unlike his barrier 18 which is difficult for any horse and without a specific racing style he could be trapped wide. Would be in my top three if it was not for barrier 18.

6-Macedonian – Barrier 15 – Peter Moody – Luke Nolen

Now a seven year old Macedonian has done well for connections with some big wins including the Lavazza on Melbourne Cup day and has run well in several other big races including an Adelaide Cup third back in 2011. His form this preparation has been ok without getting all that close to the winner and last start he finished 2.8L behind Tuscan Fire in the Mornington Cup and before that finished fourth in the Australia Day Cup over 2400m behind Shadows In The Sun. His form is average and does get well back in his runs and runs on smartly annoying owners and punters, does have 3200m form to his name with a win in the Sandown Cup and an Adelaide cup 3rd here in 2011. Another good chance with a bad draw in barrier 15 but don’t think it will hurt him too much with his general racing style being the same if he drew one or 20. Leaving him out though 3200m form can’t be ignored with a win and a third coming from his three starts at the distance.

7-Kutchinsky – Barrier 9 – Danny O’Brien – Craig Williams

The horse who beat Tuscan Fire in the Roy Higgins Quality, Kutchinsky came from nowhere to win the race over the 2600m and although he hasn’t seen 3200m so far I think based on his finish last start he has the ability to run it out strongly. His previous form before the Roy Higgins has been mixed with a win two runs back over 2000m at Flemington and a placing over 2000m on New Year’s Day at Flemington, again behind Tuscan Fire. Comes from the in-form Danny O’Brien stable who scored the G1-Newmarket Handicap and is being ridden the by the best jockey going around in Victoria at the moment Craig Williams who managed to score three outright wins and a dead heat on Super Saturday on the weekend. Drawn well and comes in well at the weights, only concern is 3200m however is a top three selection for me.

8-Dame Claire – Barrier 7 – Pat Carey - Peter Mertens

Dame Claire the horse that should’ve been a greyhound. Dame Claire is a lovely mare with stacks of ability however is her own worst enemy at times as she likes to rail along and run parallel to the rail which has cost her several wins after ducking in behind Tuscan Fire who she got past on just prior to the winning post. The form around Dame Claire is only fair with just the one second placing in her past five runs, and that was last start in the Roy Higgins where she finished behind Kutchinsky but did beat home Tuscan Fire in that Race. Tuscan Clare is a good mare who has had several strong wins to her name including the 2012 R.M Ansett Classic over 2400m. Another horse that has been to the 3200m Dame Claire took out the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington. Weighted well and well-drawn and if she gets the lead and rails well she should be well into the finish. Strong chance

9-Waratone – Barrier 8 – Kylie Huxtable– Dwayne Dunn

Waratone has only had three races in the space of three months after six runs in eight weeks. His form in the middle of last preparation was superb with three Adelaide wins and a Melbourne win in which after that his form had started to taper off a bit. His two runs since being freshened have been good with a third in the Birthday Stakes over 2035m and then sat last and came home to run fifth in the Lord Reims Stakes last start. Comes into the Cup with barrier eight which will be no concern as he will go back anyway however this may mean he won’t get back as far today.

10-My Ex Mate – Barrier 18 – Peter Blanch – Dominic Tourneur

My Ex Mate has been up and down on its form lately, won the Adelaide Cup lead up the St Reims out of almost nowhere after a thrashing in the Birthday Stakes and a subsequent trial was average. The Lord Reims run was good over the 2600m where sat close to the speed but prior had been getting well back and showing absolutely nothing, his runs prior had been only fair but once he hit the staying races his form picked up a touch. It will be interesting to see which My Ex Mate turns up to the races today because if the same horse that turns up as last start he has a big chance, though if the Birthday Stakes My Ex Mate turns up he has zero chance. He is also another of the leading chances who has drawn towards the outside this time in barrier 18.

11-Enchanting Waters – Barrier 14 – Michael Sell – Craig Robertson

One of two eight year old mares in the race Enchanting Waters comes into her second Adelaide Cup of an inferior campaign to that last year where she won the St Reims, however this preparation she’s been ok with about being good, her second-up run was easily the best where she finished 2nd back on 2nd of February in a Benchmark 72 at Kyneton, where she carried 62.5kg, even though her run was good it wasn’t the strongest BM72 ever. Her 2 Adelaide runs have been ok coming through the Birthday Stakes and the Lord Reims where she finished 6th in both starts and last start got well back and got home soundly. She’s drawn barrier 14 which will be no concern as she will be going back anyways and will be in sound hands with her regular jockey and leading Victorian Country jockey Craig Robertson getting aboard. First 4 chance but not much else

12-Club Royale– Barrier 4 – Lee Creek – Holly McKechnie

The second of the eight year old mares is Club Royale, she comes also comes through the Lord Reims and the Birthday stakes where she has started at longish odds both those runs. In the Birthday Stakes she finished 8th after getting back and staying there although did finish just over five lengths the winner. Her Lord Reims run was good where she made a move between the 800m and the 400m and finished fourth. Her form prior is in much inferior grade to the horses above with starts prior in the Naracoorte Cup and prior to that just fair runs in Open Handicaps at Penola & Mt Gambier respectively. She does keep her regular jockey Holly McKechnie aboard which may help a touch and drawing barrier 4 she could be closer but in the past with inside draws she still gets along way back. Outclassed here.

13-Lucky Angel – Barrier 11 – Tony Vasil – Brenton Avdulla

Another nice mare Lucky Angel comes through this race off runs in the Hobart & Launceston Cups where she finished fourth in the Hobart Cup, then seventh in the Launceston Cup where she too got right back in her past 2 runs. Her runs prior to that were good with a second placing in a fillies and mares benchmark 89 race at Moonee Valley and prior to that a win in a fillies and mares 0-89 at Flemington. The furthest Lucky Angel has seen to date is 2600m in the Listed Werribee cup behind Unusual Suspect, though has had a win over the 2500m at Moonee Valley and several placing’s at that distance but the extra step up to the 3200m is a concern on whether or not she can run put a strong 3200m. Is a chance if she runs the distance right out.

14-Distillation – Barrier 5 – William Smart – Simon Price

Distillation is another horse who comes out of the Lord Reims Stakes this time he was the last place getter in the race when finishing 10.1L behind the winner My Ex Mate, he had good form prior although in weaker races all on the Morphettville Parks (Inner) Track, though he did score 3 wins over 2250m & 2400m a prior to the last start flop, the wins came in weaker races being the 0-75 over 2250m then two 0-94 wins both over 2400m starts. The son of Half Hennessy is a staying type with all wins beyond 2050m, but not sure if he has the class to run out a 3200m trip against horses of this quality. Another one who be outclassed in this.

15-Dumosa – Barrier 10 – Barry Brook – Ms Amy Herrmann

Another horse that did nothing in the Lord Reims Stakes Dumosa came into that race off a win over perennial place getter Baklava Boy where he lead the whole race in a small field at Morphettville over the 2500m. His form prior to that was average with a 20.9L thrashing at Morphettville over 2400m in the Distillation race and before that again finishing second last although was only 3 lengths behind in a blanket finish. His best performances this preparation having been where he has been at the top of the pace and distance won’t be a concern because he has won over the 3600m at Oakbank in the longest flat race in Australia.

16-Readings – Barrier 2 – David Hayes – Paul Gatt

Consistent four year old mare Readings comes into the Adelaide Cup with good form through the Moonee Valley night staying races where last start she ran second behind You Think So who also goes around here in the cup. Prior to last start she finished 4th over 2500m and before that had been in the money 2 of her prior 3 both over 2500m at Moonee Valley with a 2400m 2nd on the Sandown Lakeside Track. Comes from the David Hayes yard at Euroa which will mean she will be fit and well for the races today and with the old Adelaide dynamic duo teaming up, David Hayes & jockey Paul Gatt means that she will get every chance. She’s yet to see beyond the 2500m metres which is a bit of concern and given her racing pattern of sitting handy she may be able to run it out on a possible slow pace. Place hope if she sees the distance out

17-Baby Boy – Barrier 19 – Ron Daniel – Jason Holder

The Hamilton galloper Baby Boy comes through weak form with a 5.2L 4th of 5 behind Dumosa last start and prior to that finishing third in a 2200m 0-89 race at Bendigo behind Gottino and Prussia Island who I believe would struggle in this field and as a result I think Baby Boy will be out of his depth. He is still only a four year old and I think with time he can become a good stayer with a decent race in his takings however he will need time to mature a bit more. Distance wise is yet to see past the 2400m before the cup and I think he will cope with the rise in distance as I said above he will need some time before tackling a big race like this as a main chance.

18-He’s Hot To Trot – Barrier 3 – Mick Whittle – Ms Clare Lindop

He’s Hot to Trot comes through like several others the Lord Reims stakes where he finished 5.5L seventh and prior to that was again seventh in the Birthday Stakes where he was 4.5L behind the winner of that Pelicano who subsequently went to Sydney and won the Parramatta Cup. He’s Hot to Trot runs prior to the Birthday & Lord Reims had been only fair with a last placing over a mile in 0-86 after being freshened after running 4th behind You Think So back in December over 3000m at the Valley and did contest the Group 2 Sandown Classic where he finished 8.5L sixth of nine. Distance shouldn’t be a concern for him however the class factor is the major issue.

19-Red Shift – Barrier 20 – Pat Carey – Darren Gauci

The second of Pat Carey’s two cup runners this time Red Shift for the OTI team, I think is one of the best up and coming horses in the race and has some quality about him. His runs in the preparation so far have been good with a first up second over 1400m and then three subsequent runs he has finished fifth, where he has grinded away to finish around the area where he sits in the run. He has run in some quality races in the past including the Qld Derby where he finished 7th behind Brambles. The Higgins Quality run was ok where he never looked a winning chance but was good finishing 4 lengths behind Kutchinsky, not saying he can turn the tables on the first three out of that race but think the distance shouldn’t hold him any concern unlike barrier 20 which he has drawn and will be interested to see where Darren Gauci puts him.

20-Rilelilmag – Barrier 13 – Barbara Marshman – Kerrin McEvoy

Number 20 in the Morphettville Cup is another galloper trained at the Victorian bush track of Hamilton this time by Barbara Marshman, this 7yo mare is coming through significantly inferior form being a third placing over 2500m behind Rambert at Moonee Valley and previously a third over 2400m in a 0-68 at Colac and before that finishing second last behind Titch in the Terang Cup and a 2nd at Murtoa in a weak staying race. Happy to say no to her considering that I didn’t give her any chance in any of her past three runs, would be a good story for trainer Barbara Marshman but is the most outclassed in the race.


Dame Claire to beat Tuscan Fire and Macedonian


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