The Kris Lees trained Big Duke will need plenty of luck in running after being out of luck at the barrier draw for the 2019 Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day Two of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday.

Big Duke, above, has drawn the outside barrier in the 2019 Sydney Cup at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Big Duke, above, has drawn the outside barrier in the 2019 Sydney Cup at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Big Duke drew barrier twenty-one in the original draw of twenty plus one emergency and will jump from the outside gate in the capacity twenty horse Sydney Cup field.

Big Duke is one of four runners Australian Bloodstock will have in the Sydney Cup and will be joined by Red Cardinal and Doukhan from the Kris Lees stable as well as the Chris Waller trained Shraaoh.

Red Cardinal was also out of luck at the barrier draw, coming up with gate eighteen, but Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett is not losing confidence as he knows that both Big Duke and Red Cardinal will both run out a strong 3200m of the Sydney Cup.

Big Duke finished third in the 2017 Sydney Cup as well as a fourth in the 2017 Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington while Red Cardinal is a two times two mile winner in Europe and North America.

“The thing I like about both, they are proven at the trip so they will both get the two mile,” Lovett said.

“I think they will run well, but we are going to need luck from back there obviously.”

Big Duke is coming off a last start second in the Group 1 $1.5m KIA Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on March 30 while Red Cardinal was seventh in the same race.

Lovett said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Shraaoh was fighting out the finish in the Sydney Cup after the English import ran home for second in the Group 2 $300,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships last Satutrday.

“Shraaoh was terrific on Saturday. He is probably a horse, off his European form, he doesn’t like as much cut in the track that he has had in his racing in Australia, so given the weather is looking a lot better, he could be the horse from the soft gate,” Lovett said.

“He is a bit of a hard pulling horse so hopefully on the seven day back up, Jay Ford can just put him to sleep. I think he will be strong late as well.”

Jay Ford rides Shraaoh who drew nicely at barrier three while Brenton Avdulla on Big Duke and Jason Collett on Red Cardinal will be looking for plenty of favours in the run.

The Charlie Appleby trained English stayer Dubhe has drawn a handy gate at four and with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle has been installed as the $3 favourite for the Sydney Cup at while Big Duke is marked at $9, Shraaoh at $10 and Red Cardinal at $13.

Dubhe is a last start winner over the 3200m at Meydan in Dubai and Lovett agrees with the bookies and can see the Godolphin owned four year old as the one to beat.

Final field for the 2019 Sydney Cup (3200m)

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 91591×8960 THE TAJ MAHAL (IRE) Liam Howley James McDonald 8 56kg 108
2 1132x00x04 SOUND (GER) Michael Moroney Damian Lane 13 55.5kg 107
3 6x641x4679 PATRICK ERIN (NZ) Chris Waller Glyn Schofield 5 54.5kg 105
4 080300×117 RED CARDINAL (IRE) Kris Lees Jason Collett 18 54kg 109
5 05000×2622 BIG DUKE (IRE) Kris Lees Brenton Avdulla 21 54kg 108
6 05903×7150 VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE) Michael Moroney Damien Oliver 16 54kg 104
7 4737×44474 SIR CHARLES ROAD Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott Andrew Adkins 20 53kg 103
8 263071×185 YOGI (NZ) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Craig Williams 15 53kg 103
9 32222×8740 BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 14 53kg 101
10 4155x1x61x DUBHE (GB) Charlie Appleby Kerrin McEvoy 4 52.5kg 102
11 x0x0254x31 MIDTERM (GB) Liam Howley Jamie Kah 9 52.5kg 102
12 5611110211 GLORY DAYS (NZ) Bill Thurlow Corey Brown 19 52kg 108
13 00800×6200 ZACADA (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Ms Kathy O’Hara 12 52kg 99
14 024840×551 GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR) Archie Alexander Glen Boss 7 51.5kg 106
15 4×10211233 RONDINELLA (NZ) Roger James & Robert Wellwood Sam Clipperton 1 51kg 107
16 412x1x9232 SHRAAOH (IRE) Chris Waller Jay Ford 3 51kg 100
17 1818×61113 SEMARI (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Tim Clark 6 51kg 99
18 0645353132 TOP OF THE RANGE (NZ) Michael Moroney Michael Dee 17 51kg 90
19 21×7746209 RODRICO Bjorn Baker James Innes Jnr 10 51kg 89
20 44x267x856 DOUKHAN (IRE) Kris Lees Andrew Gibbons 2 51kg 84
21e 35110×514 FAIRLIGHT (IRE) Kris Lees 11 51kg 72


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