The Geelong Cup Form Guide 2017 for the midweek feature race is crucial reading ahead of the important Melbourne Cup qualifying race this Wednesday.
Due to jump as Geelong Race 7 at 4:00pm (AEDT), this season’s Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) field has drawn a dozen smart sprinters.
Seven of those are nominated for the Group 1 $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) and the double has been achieved in recent years by French raiders American (2010) and Dunaden (2011).
The Geelong Cup form then is one to follow into the ‘race that stops a nation’, held this year at Flemington on Tuesday November 7.
Each season the Geelong Cup winner also gains a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption, making for a competitive showdown in the mile-and-a-half handicap.
Standout favourite in the Geelong Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au this spring is the Darren Weir-trained Gallic Chieftain looking to further frank the form out of the Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
Below the HorseRacing.com.au team analyse the winning chances of all twelve Geelong Cup horses to help you pick out the winning stayers to back.
Robert Hickmott-trained Sydney Cup winner over the two miles back in the autumn, he had a credible spring in 2016 before the Melbourne Cup 20th behind stablemate Almandin. First-up failure in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) running dead last (15th) under 58kg from barrier 11 and has similar issues here with the same gate and top weight. Step-up to 2400m suits better and he’ll be fitter for the run, but hard to see him improving enough to feature in the finish.
Stablemate of one-time Caulfield Cup favourite Bonneval, this Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained Kiwi mare has had three runs down under in the spring and has been well beaten in all. The Zabeel five-year-old’s best was a midfield sixth behind I Am A Star at The Valley in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m), before her distant 10th behind visiting Cox Plate contender Folkswood in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m). She’s got winning form over the 2400m, but looks out-weighted (57.5kg) for the win.
One of six single-figure chances in the mix, Robert Smerdon’s Melbourne Cup nominated six-year-old has genuine claims as the comeback galloper continues to improve. Spent 12 months sidelined with a tendon injury and the stable has been careful getting him back to full fitness. Won his only other 2400m start in the 2014 Mornington Cup and the last start second when flashing home late in the Cranbourne Cup was good enough to suggest another top three finish on Wednesday.
The red hot favourite for Darren Weir, this imported Tamayuz stallion brings the best form into the race. Champion jockey Craig Williams replaced Dean Yendall in the saddle as the five-year-old galloper looks to go two better than the lead-up Herbert Power Stakes third over the same metres at Caulfield on October 14. That race produced last Saturday’s shock Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time (4th), while the Herbert Power winner Lord Fandango finished fourth. Fourth-up last time in saluted over the 2400m in Sydney and he is likely to just come out and win again.
Now prepared at Ballarat by Matt Cumani, this Galileo entire finished runner-up to Qewy in the 2016 Geelong Cup on debut in Australia before the Melbourne Cup 14th. His only top three finish since came last start in the Cranbourne Cup, which could prove the form line to follow to Geelong this week. Gets in on the 54kg minimum from barrier eight and looks a bit of value.
Big double-figure price offered on the Lindsay Park-trained Geelong Cup runner, the stable on fire after Boom Time won the Caulfield Cup at the blowout price. Barrier three and 54kg for this well-bred mare are ticks and she’s a daughter of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking so she’ll stay. A Kiwi expat she hasn’t won since last December, but she is improving and ran sixth in the Herbert Power Stakes last time out. Can surprise at big odds like the stablemate last Saturday.
Also nominated for the Moonee Valley Cup on Cox Plate Day, Michael Moroney’s out-of-form six-year-old is running out of time to get that Melbourne Cup start. Was runner-up to Tally in this year’s Mornington Cup narrowly defeated, before bad barriers have hampered his subsequent three runs. Last start eighth behind Amelie’s Star in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington saw him five lengths off the winner and he’s wide again here in barrier 10. Key to this horse is getting him to relax and if he does that, could be a genuine place hope.
Plenty of support for Darren Weir’s second Geelong Cup horse who is second best in betting behind the stablemate. Jockey Michael Dee comes on the five-year-old entire, another Galileo progeny, whose lead-up third in The Bart Cummings was excellent. Jumped at a much bigger price in that Flemington showdown on October 7, has upside off the personal best performance last time out, is at his pet distance and shapes up as the obvious danger.
The experience of jockey Damien Oliver could come into play here for the Troy Blaker-trained outsider, a six-year-old son of Savoire Vivre who drops right back in weight. Was under two lengths beaten in a Benchmark 84 over this distance on October 18 at Caulfield carrying 59kg, so will relish the 54kg lightweight on Wednesday. Before that was brave in another narrow defeat, only a length away third in the Listed Harry White Classic (2430m) at Mornington. Has had eight goes at the distance now for four placings and wouldn’t be all that surprising to see him finish first four.
Early Geelong Cup market mover, there has been plenty of support for this in-form Brent Stanley-trained Sebring four-year-old. Has finished top three in his three latest Melbourne runs, including a last start 2000m Caulfield win carrying 59kg. Jockey James Winks continues associations on the entire who is also a big weight-dropper down to 54kg. Needs to handle the tougher class here, but that money trail could be worth following.
Another single-figure chance on 54kg, the Archie Alexander-trained Artie Schiller mare is undefeated as a four-year-old posting back-to-back wins this campaign. She’s got outstanding form around some good stayers including defeating subsequent Herbert Power winner Lord Fandango over the mile at Bendigo first-up. Her latest was a 1.75 length success over Hardham in the Inglis Cup (2000m) at Caulfield. Hardham was unplaced in the Caulfield Cup (10th) and drops in distance to take on Winx in the Cox Plate this weekend, while Wheal Leisure is a livewire chance to keep her winning streak going in her maiden 2400m test.
The genuine roughie hope in the field, punters can have the Jamie Edwards-trained Encosta De Lago mare at $41s if they fancy the six-year-old to make it two wins on the trot. She carried 53.5kg to a 2500m Moonee Valley win in a Benchmark 78 on October 6, but from 10 2400m runs has just the one second place. Has been to Geelong three times and hasn’t finished in the money, looks outclassed and will likely round out the finishing order as the odds suggest.