What the Cup chances did: Friday 29th, Saturday, 30th September 2017

What the Cup chances did: Friday 29th, Saturday, 30th September 2017

It’s a big three day week of grand finals and racing, and here’s the results that matter from the first two days of racing, mostly at Moonee Valley on Friday night, and Randwick on Saturday. So, did we see the Melbourne Cup winner run over these two days?


Randwick – Saturday

Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m)

This wasn’t a topline Group 1 field but the implications from the results tell us a bit.

Foundry, carrying just 50.5kgs, was in it up to ears in the end, carrying 4.5kgs less than Big Duke and 4kgs on Chocante.

Libran was a weird run – he had all the time in the world to get going but never really let down, and Antonio Giuseppe offered similar.

Talking point: Throw out the Sydney staying form?

What shows from this race is that the Sydney stayers might not be up to them this year. Only Chocante and Who Shot Thebarman really offered good performances, and they need a soft track to really go on with it.

Foundry and Big Duke hadn’t been setting the world alight in Victoria either so goodness knows how the topline chances might have performed.

Foundry – 1st

Hadn’t won in more than 1000 days but found himself down in the weights and did well in a true staying test.

Jockey Michael Dee said: “I’m speechless, I’ve never ridden a winner at this track, I’ve been up here a few times now. To win a Group 1, I just couldn’t be happier. To Lloyd Williams and the team at Macedon Lodge, thank you very much for having me on. The horse is a beauty, he’s just lovely to ride, they brought him here in tip-top shape and he ran accordingly. He jumped really well and got there quite easily, I didn’t have to use up much gas early. I got pushed out three-wide on the bend, but luckily I was able to come back and land in the one-one.”

“From then on he travelled beautifully throughout, the team said once he got to the 800m to make it a true staying test so I let him stride and to the horse’s credit, he toughed it right out.”

Big Duke – 2nd

A far better performance this time around on the backup. His campaign is back in business. Although, maybe he prefers the Sydney way of going?

Jockey Brenton Avdulla said: “He ran terrific. Thought he was the winner halfway up the straight. Probably from the 2000m to the 2400m on the back up he just felt the pinch the last 50m but he’s on target.”

Chocante – 3rd

Jockey Corey Brown said: “He ran great. I thought I was home when I topped the rise, the winner and the second horse were just that little bit sharper on the line but he ran super, the further he goes the better he’ll get.”

Who Shot Thebarman – 4th

The old boy just won’t quit. Couldn’t be any happier with him giving the winner 6.5kgs, surely?

Oddly Hugh Bowman made no comment.

Broadside – 5th

No illusion that he should’ve done better and isn’t up to Group 1 level. Still plenty of other options for him but no Melbourne Cup now.

Tim Clark (Broadside): “I thought he was pretty brave. Definitely a better performance this week down in the weights. He’s probably capable of going to Melbourne and picking off a slightly lesser race.”

Libran – 6th

Every chance and really gave nothing. Maybe the weight was his undoing, maybe you can forget the run. But not ideal.

Glyn Schofield said: “I enjoyed a lovely run, no real excuses.”

Antonio Giuseppe – 7th

Had the Magic Man on board and was expecting far more.

Joao Moreira said: “A bit disappointing. He had a beautiful run through, just couldn’t finish it off with them.”

Life Less Ordinary – last

Was found to be mildly lame which offers a fair excuse but disappointing to say the least.

Moonee Valley – Friday

Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m)

We saw a Group 3 level field in this race and Jon Snow was simply too classy for them.

Jon Snow – 1st

Good tough win for the Kiwi horse. Didn’t set the world on fire with his sectionals but ground out the win over some weaker opposition than what he faced when eighth in the Makybe Diva Stakes. He’s on a path to the Caulfield Cup and possibly the Melbourne Cup afterwards.

“All due respect to the opposition but this was a bit easier than he’s been up against lately,” said trainer Murray Baker.

“Going forward gave him the galloping room he needs and it all worked out well. He’s a bull and he didn’t like getting cluttered up between horses last start but it wasn’t an issue tonight.

“The one concern we had was that he might need one more run but he’s got away with it and that will do him the world of good.”

“I suppose it will be either the Herbert Power or the Caulfield Stakes next for him,” Baker said.

Boom Time – 3rd

Closed on pretty well for third but wasn’t threatening the two in front enough. Looked like the best run of his prep thus far but the former WA galloper has a long way to go to climb into the Melbourne Cup field.

Star Exhibit – 5th

Was a mile back and closed on well after last-start mishap. Was encouraging enough to continue on.

Gallic Chieftain – 6th

Very strange run – was being stoked up a mile from home when last but actually finished off the race quite well with the fastest sectionals. Left flat-footed too easily.

Etymology – 8th
Tavago – 9th
Berisha – 11th
Foundation – 12th
Grey Lion – 13th

All ranged from disappointing to just bad in the case of Grey Lion.

Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m)

Lizzie L’amour – 7th

Oh dear. A real hard luck tale. The NZ mare didn’t get a crack at them until far too late with Hugh Bowman struggling to find a way through. Shuffled back to last on the turn and had to get off the heels of Risque which saw her not able to let down until late. She motored home to break 12 seconds for her last 200m but this hasn’t helped her climb into the either the Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup fields.

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