The biggest day on the South Australian racing calendar is almost here and we get the inside word from our local trainers and experts ahead of the big day!
Leon Macdonald - Pretty Punk
"She performed very well in Tasmania. She’s coming to the end of a hard campaign but she’s come up well for this race. She’s badly weighted for this race being a Group 2 but we’ll have a throw at the stumps and see what happens."
Peter Blanch - Jim's Journey
"Pay to forgive his last start run. The speed looks to be on which will suit him. He was most unlucky last year when he copped some interference in the run. He probably should have won or run second. We know he gets the trip and is fit and well."
Grant Young - Exalted Lightning
"He’s very fit; as fit as I can get him for this. His runs heading into the Cup have been great and he ran on very well in the Lord Reims which suggest he should get the 3200m on Monday."
Grant Young - Tunes
"He’s every bit of what he was two years ago when he ran second. He’s a strong horse and we know he gets the 3200m. I’m pretty happy with his form and I know Clare Lindop is looking forward to riding him. His form around Bondeiger looks pretty good for this."
John Hickmott - Flying Casino
"At this stage he’s going to run on Saturday and then backup on Monday in the Cup. He’s very well at the moment and doing everything right."
Adam McGrath - Racing.com
Cup Tip: Exalted Lightning - Heart is talking over brain here. While there are clearly better chances and higher credentialed horses, I love what Grant Young has done with this horse and all of the Exalted runners in his care. Fitness will be no issue and he'll still have a turn of foot late. The Lord Reims run was a good trial for this and I'll be cheering hard for the local runner.
Best Bet: Race 8 - Steel Frost
James Jordan - Racing.com
Cup Tip: Fanatic - Lead up runs have been rock solid. Maps well here and I’m tipping Michael Walker will ride for luck from that gate and I think he’ll get it!
Best Bet: Race 3 - Over Exposure - Group class horse, returns a gelding. Ran some very good races in his first prep and this looks ideal first up.
Terry McAuliffe - Racecaller
Cup Tip: Ormito - This imported galloper is a winner of just one of his twenty two starts and is a maiden in twelve runs in Australia. However his last four runs all resulting in minor placings have been his best performances down under. Craig Williams has been with him for three of those four placings and retains the ride on Monday. With the Darren Weir polish and a favourable gate he looks a major player.
Best Bet: Race 1 - Entrancing - This mare is first up since running fifth in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes on Goodwood Day in May last year. After starting her career in N.S.W. she has won three of her six starts since joining the Phillip Stokes stable, all with Emily Finnegan aboard. A recent trial winner at Morphettville she is ready to go first up.
Ben Scadden - The Advertiser
Cup Tip: Fanatic - The Cup hasn't been kind to favourites in recent times but I reckon that can change this year. Lindsay Park mare Fanatic ticks all the boxes. She's a proven two-miler, she's drawn perfectly and gets in relatively well with 57.5kg considering her record. I'll be very surprised if she's not in the finish.
Best Bet: Race 9 - Booradley - I'm saving the best till last and tipping a big day for David Hayes. This gelding looks very well placed in this grade after some really solid efforts in Melbourne recently. He'll settle close to the speed from barrier five and should be strong when it counts with only 54kg on his back.
Lincoln Moore - The Advertiser
Cup Tip: Fanatic - Has been set for this race and looks to be peaking at the right time. Runs the trip and nicely draw, looks the horse to give Lindsay Park their second Cup in three years.
Best Bet: Race 1 - Entracing - Nice horse first-up from a break. Pretty smart horse who looks really well suited here and can kick start the day in style for punters.