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Sydney Cup preview

The Sydney autumn carnival comes to a close tomorrow with a quality programme at Royal Randwick. The staying feature of the day is the Group I Sydney Cup over 3200m. Over the years it has been won by some... how do I say this nicely.... below top class stayers who've never won another race, but also some superstars as well - Makybe Diva, Tie The Knot and Kingston Town in the last 35 years. The glut of imported European stayers these days should lift the class of all distance races in Australia, and this looks like one of the better fields of recent years, despite a compressed weight scale. Charged with the preview on this occasion is Kieran Fitzgerald, @kjob85.

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Sydney Cup

1. Mourayan
Mourayan is a reliable stayer from the Lloyd Williams stable and can usually be relied on to put in a solid run. He has had an average campaign this autumn, however ran a decent fourth at his last start carrying a big weight. While he has drawn well and will handle the distance, this is probably too much of an ask for him and a place bet would be best.

2. Niwot
Won this race last year with a strong performance, however has struggled since then, without placing in any of his subsequent starts. He is carrying more weight this time around and based on his recent form it seems unlikely that he will be back in the winners circle here.

3. Julienas
A bit of a wildcard in the race. Julienas had been racing well before his last start, where he dropped out at the turn and finished well behind the rest of the field. Since then he has been cleared by the vets and trialled to the satisfaction of stewards, but it does make things a bit risky. On form he is a real chance here, but given his issues last run I would be wary of backing him. Include in the multiples but for me it's a case of caveat emptor here.

4. Kelinni
After a stellar run last start, Kelinni is the clear favourite in this race, and deservedly so. Carrying 60kg on a heavy track, he exploded down the straight to win by one and a half lengths. He is better in the weights here, usually peaks around this time in his prep and after a fourth in last year's Melbourne Cup he is the horse to beat.

5. Maluckyday
A bit of a crowd favourite, Maluckyday has had an alright prep without breaking through. He is usually well fancied for staying races, and the extra distance will suit him. He is well weighted and has drawn the inside barrier. Expect a big run and don't rule him out.

6. Blood Brotha
A New Zealand horse, Blood Brotha ran a strong second in his first Australian start at Randwick two weeks ago. He likes this distance and is well drawn and weighted. Prior to his last start he had a few poor runs in New Zealand, but in general has been a decent stayer. I would expect him to put in a strong showing here.

7. Norsqui
Winner of the Adelaide Cup over this distance last month, his last run produced a disappointing ninth against an average field at Flemington. This horse is quite inconsistent so he really could go either way. He hasn't raced the Sydney way before, but is a strong performer in his home state Tasmania and does like this distance. Carrying little weight, he is a potential roughie chance at big odds. It would be a great story if he pulled through here.

8. Tremec
Tremec has been in great form of late, including beating other horses who are racing here at his last start. He has a wide draw but is carrying a light weight. He is racing at this distance for the first time but his past performances would indicate that the step up shouldn't trouble him too much. On his recent form he should run a strong race and is one of the better chances here.

9. Aliyana Tilde
Aliyana Tilde is having a strong prep and with champion jockey Craig Williams on board, is tackling this distance for the first time. It is a big step up for her but at her last run, where she finished third over 2600m, she looked to peak late, indicating that the extra distance may suit her. The quality of opposition in her previous wins has mostly been average, however there has been enough solid work to indicate she will put in a decent showing here.

10. Coliseo
A horse with a strong record in the country, Coliseo has run twice in the city lately with mixed results. While the extra distance should suit him, the wide barrier draw and the quality of the opposition compared to his past runs make it tough for him and he would need a great run to get up here.

11. Macedonian
A fairly reliable stayer including a win over this distance, Macedonian's recent form has been reasonable without breaking through. This is his ninth run this prep and his record could indicate that he has peaked in this campaign. He is a more experienced stayer than the other horses racing, but it will be hard for him here. Given his record over the distance though, he is an attractive place bet at big odds.

Suggested Bet
KELINNI is the horse to beat here, after his strong campaign and brilliant race last start. While JULIENAS could threaten if he is in good shape, it is too risky for me after his last run. MALUCKYDAY should put in a strong showing, and the next best are TREMEC and BLOOD BROTHA. I would also rate MACEDONIAN for a place at big odds.

Take KELINNI for the win.

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