Group 1 Racing continues around the country this weekend with the Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes to be run at Caulfield, whilst in Sydney at Rosehill Gardens the De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes will be decided. Locally at Morphettville, a very strong eight race card of racing is highlighted by two black type races.
Race six is the Listed $100,000 Tokyo City Cup to be run over 1800 metres. Seven of the final eleven acceptors for the Cup are from Victorian stables, including four from the powerful Darren Weir yard. Silvera from the Tony McEvoy stable is an early scratching reducing the field to ten runners.
Early favourite with UBET is the Peter Gelagotis prepared Moss ‘N’ Dale at $3.30. A last start winner at Moonee Valley over 1600 metres, Moss ‘N’ Dale has won 12 of his 29 career starts and will be ridden on Saturday by Jack Martin.
The Darren Weir quartet of runners are on the next four lines of betting with UBET and Yogi is pressing for outright favouritism at $3.50. Yogi has been responsible for two eye catching second placings in his only two outings this campaign. Prior to spelling he had won the Listed Port Adelaide Cup at Morphettville back in May. Noel Callow has been booked to ride Yogi on Saturday.
Weir’s other runners in the Cup are topweight Sopressa who returns to the scene of her Group 1 success in May where she won the Schweppes Oaks, and the imported gallopers Danon Liberty and Sixties Groove.
Flying the flag for South Australia in the Cup are Temps Voleur, Brown Ben and Pretty Punk. All three ran in the Listed Balaklava Cup at their most recent start with the Chris Bieg trained Temps Voleur recording a brave win that day. Tony McEvoy’s Brown Ben was a luckless fifth at Balaklava, whilst Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas’s mare Pretty Punk ran a nice seventh.
The other feature race at Morphettville on Saturday is the Listed $100,000 W H Wylie Handicap to be run over 1100 metres. The sprint has drawn a near capacity field with eighteen left in at acceptance time. Again interstate representation is strong with eleven horses set to cross the border, with Darren Weir again leading the charge with three runners.
UBET’s early market has the James Cummings trained Demerara clear top pick at $3. A winner of five of her nine starts, Demerara is first up since running unplaced in the Denises Joy at Scone back in May. Unbeaten fresh she has been given two trials in Sydney at Warwick Farm in preparation for her return to the racetrack and Dominic Tourneur has been booked for the ride.
Two local mares are well in the market, with Shayne Cahill’s Desert Lashes second favourite at $7 and Mica Lil from the Mark Minervini team at $9.50. Interestingly Northern Territory jockey Raymond Vigar who has not been aboard Desert Lashes since they combined to win at Morphettville in December of 2016 will reunite with the mare on Saturday. Vigar rode the mare one other time for a win in Alice Springs where her career started before heading to South Australia.
Mica Lil is first up since finishing midfield in the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville back in May. Prior to that she ran a mighty third in the Group 1 UBET Classic (Robert Sangster Stakes) behind Shoals and Secret Agenda. A brilliant trial win at Morphettville recently with Jason Holder in the saddle would suggest she is geared up for a big first up performance.