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2014 Ballarat Cup runner by runner preview

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2013-ballarat-cupThe 2014 Ballarat Cup will take place tomorrow at Dowling Forest racecourse in Ballarat and we thought we’d take a look at each runner’s chances to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

The Robert Smerdon trained Spinderella has been a steady favourite all week with punters.

Locally trained Tuscan Fire, from the Dan O’Sullivan yard has been the best backed runner, firming all the time..

Plenty of locals will be barracking for the home town favourite and a Tuscan Fire victory would be one to remember, especially given his local following.

Next in Ballarat Cup consideration is Chris Waller 4yo Vilanova who has been a steady drifter all week.

Others in the mix include At First Sight, Mujadale, Count Of Limonade and Electric Fusion.

Leading trainer Darren Weir trains At First Sight, who is the shortest of his three Ballarat Cup runners, with his other two, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Mobaco given little chance by punters.

The 2014 Ballarat Cup is Race 8 on the card at Ballarat on Saturday 22nd November 2014 and start time is scheduled for 4.40pm in the afternoon.

2014 Ballarat Cup Preview

1 – FAT AL – Form: x508
Trainer: Peter G Moody Jockey: Craig Williams
Career: 25: 7-2-2 Weight: 60.0kg Barrier: 9
Average Prizemoney: $27,618 Win%: 28%  Place%: 44%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 13:5-1-1 Dead: 7:1-1-1
Around this trip: 1900 (1), 2000 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 3
Last Start: 8th Flemington 04Nov14 1800m Listed 1st Atacama 3.95L 5th@800m, 7th@400m

Raced off the pace last time out at Flemington over 1800m and worked home solidly without threatening, to finish around 4L from winner. Should be cherry ripe now after three runs from spell but yet to win beyond 2000m and big ask here with 60kgs, although likely to be handily placed in the run.

Thoughts: 5 of his 7 wins have been on good tracks and at his best would have to be respected, as he’s a former Gr1 winner. Capable of figuring in the finish but best we can see here is an outside place chance at odds.

2 – TUSCAN FIRE – Form: 0x04
Trainer: Dan O’Sullivan Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
Career: 58: 11-10-10 Weight: 60.0kg Barrier: 1
Average Prizemoney: $10,660 Win%: 19%  Place%: 53%
Track: 9:3-2-2 Track & Distance: 1:0-1-0 Good: 28:5-6-5 Dead: 21:5-3-2
Around this trip: 2000 (2), 2300 (1), 2400 (3), 2500 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 2
Last Start: 4th Flemington 04Nov14 1800m Listed 1st Atacama 0.95L 7th@800m, 4th@400m

Bolted to the lead inside the 300m mark last start at Flemington over 1800m (Fat Al 8th) when second-up from a spell and was only collared inside the final 50 metres when condition gave out. Derive plenty of benefit from that run and will strip much fitter here. Has 3 wins 4 placings from nine runs at this track and no problems running the trip.

Thoughts: Well drawn, top jockey aboard, conditions to suit, looks a great chance.

3 – COUNT OF LIMONADE – Form: 0615
Trainer: Mick Price Jockey: Dean Yendall
Career: 16: 5-2-2 Weight: 59.0kg Barrier: 6
Average Prizemoney: $12,012 Win%: 31%  Place%: 56%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 10:2-1-1 Dead: 0:0-0-0
Around this trip: 2050 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 4
Last Start: 5th Bendigo 29Oct14 2400m Listed 1st Bring Something 2.15L 5th@800m, 5th@400m

Lightly raced Mick Price galloper who scored good win over 2050m at Moe on slow track followed by solid 5th in the Bendigo Cup (2400m) when run appeared to end in the final 100m. Should be at the peak of his powers after 4 runs from a spell and suited back to the 2200m of this race. Has the aid of a lovely inside draw and a top country jockey in Dean Yendall on top.

Thoughts: On Bendigo Cup run has to be considered and appears a sound each-way chance


4 – TANBY – Form: 6×60
Trainer: Mick Cerchi Jockey: Jamie Mott
Career: 36: 9-3-5 Weight: 59.0kg Barrier: 8
Average Prizemoney: $21,557 Win%: 25%  Place%: 47%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 17:5-0-2 Dead: 15:4-3-3
Around this trip: 2100 (1), 2200 (1), 2400 (2), 2500 (3)
Runs from a Spell: 2
Last Start: 16th Flemingon 04Nov14 1800m Listed 1st Atacama 16.35L 8th@800m, 15th@400m

Hit the line nicely first-up in the Seymour Cup (1600m) to finish just under 3L from winner Bel Thor in first run since April following change of trainer from Robert Hickmott to Mick Cerchi. Well placed at the 400m mark when second-up at Flemington (1800m) before gave ground quickly to finish last beaten more than 16L in race Fat Al (8th) and Tuscan Fire (4th).

Thoughts: Talented stayer when right but prefer to see him go around again after last outing where something looked amiss. Tough ask to win this race off a two run prep and poor lead-up run.

5 – HURDY GURDY MAN – Form: x008
Trainer: Darren Weir Jockey: John Allen
Career: 34: 8-5-9 Weight: 58.5kg Barrier: 12
Average Prizemoney: $12,116 Win%: 24%  Place%: 65%
Track: 5:1-0-2 Track/Dist: 2:0-0-2 (3rd last year) Good: 13:2-2-2 Dead: 13:4-2-4
Around this trip: 2000 (1), 2050 (1), 2200 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 3
Last Start: 8th Ararat 09Nov14 2000m Handicap 1st Mujadale 5.65L 10th@800m, 10th@400m

Ran third in this race last year off the back of Coongy Hcp (5th), Hamilton Cup (1st), and Kyneton Cup (5th) but doesn’t appear to be going so well this time around. Latest outing finished 8th in the Ararat Cup where he settled at the rear of the field and only ground away to the line, beaten over 7 lengths. Positives are he drops in weight from last couple and is in leading Darren Weir stable. Negatives are he has drawn barrier 12 and form nowhere near what it was this time last year, and faces a tougher field here than 12 months ago.

Thoughts: Good enough to run third last year but would need to improve significantly off his last run to be a major player here. Rough chance if he finds his best.

6 – VILANOVA – Form: 8399
Trainer: Chris Waller Jockey: James Winks
Career: 28: 3-3-6 Weight: 58.5kg Barrier: 2
Average Prizemoney: $17,926 Win%: 11%  Place%: 43%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 20:3-1-5 Dead: 5:0-1-1
Around this trip: 2200 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 5
Last Start: 9th Flemington 04Nov14 1800m Listed 1st Atacama 4.95L 11th@800m, 11th@400m

Another to come through the Flemington race won by Atacama and ran home fairly to finish around one length behind Fat Al (8th) and 4L behind Tuscan Fire (2nd). Only won 3 races from 28, so bit of a non-winner, although he places almost every second race and has won over the cup distance of 2200m, winning the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben in May. Extra distance should suit but Fat Al & Tuscan Fire look open to more improvement than this bloke on their last runs and hard to see him turning the tables on those two here.

Thoughts: In top stable and has lovely draw, but two Melbourne runs less than spectacular and only a place chance for ours.

7 – AT FIRST SIGHT – Form: 8992
Trainer: Darren Weir Jockey: Brad Rawiller
Career: 16: 1-5-1 Weight: 57.0kg Barrier: 16
Average Prizemoney: $52,042 Win%: 6%  Place%: 44%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 11:0-5-1 Dead: 4:1-0-0
Around this trip: Only won at 1600 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 4
Last Start: 2nd Ararat 09Nov14 2000m 1st Mujadale 1.25L 5th@800m, 4th@400m

Had four starts for leading trainer Darren Weir and last start Ararat Cup (2000m) runner-up finish his best effort to date. He appeared to have every chance in that race and winner Mujadale (#12 in Cup) looked to have his measure comfortably on the line. Only won the one race from 16 and hard to back him with any confidence to win the last major Cup race of the spring, especially from barrier 16 and stepping up 200m in distance.

Thoughts: Have to respect the stable but rarely wins and on last run will struggle over 2200m against some of these. Place chance at best.

8 – MOBACO – Form: x009
Trainer: Darren Weir Jockey: Damian Lane
Career: 21: 7-2-3 Weight: 57.0kg Barrier: 15
Average Prizemoney: $11,243 Win%: 33%  Place%: 57%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 13:5-1-2 Dead: 4:1-0-0
Around this trip: 2000 (2)
Runs from a Spell: 3
Last Start: 9th Kyneton 05Nov14 2000m 1st Tristram’s Sun 10.35L 9th@800m, 10th@400m

Run better than it looked in Kyneton Cup (2000m) last time out when buffeted early and forced out onto the car park rounding the turn, but worked to the line very nicely when balanced up and made good ground in the straight. Imported OTI galloper who looked to be wanting more ground last time but only two wins to date have been over 2000m at Marseille in France around two years ago in Group 3 Prix Andre Baboin (Gris Caro 8th) and Listed La Coupe De Marseille (Gris Caro 2nd). on last effort the step up to 2200m may suit and may be one of the outsiders with a rough chance.

Thoughts: Another who has to be respected with the Darren Weir touch but barrier 15 and tougher field here may find him out on what he has shown on three runs this time in. Outside place chance.


9 – HVASSTAN – Form: 6064
Trainer: Peter Gelagotis Jockey: Craig Newitt
Career: 30: 4-4-0 Weight: 56.0kg Barrier: 19
Average Prizemoney: $15,558 Win%: 13%  Place%: 27%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 15:0-2-0 Dead: 10:4-1-0
Around this trip: 2000 (1), 2050 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 6
Last Start: 4th Flemington 08Nov14 2000m 1st Held Hostage 5.00L 11th@800m, 11th@400m

Came from well back on the turn when 4th behind Held Hostage at Flemington (2000m) last start with Shenzou Steeds (3rd) and Motivado (16th) and found the line nicely when clear. Been up for a while now and doesn’t win out of turn, and while he is likely run an honest race, the outside gate and jump in class makes this a tough assignment.

Thoughts: Could figure in the finish with the right run and an ounce of luck from wide gate, but he’s just a rough place chance for us.

10 – THE INVENTOR – Form: x729
Trainer: Bevan Laming Jockey: Darren Gauci
Career: 27: 6-3-1 Weight: 56.0kg Barrier: 11
Average Prizemoney: $9,431 Win%: 22%  Place%: 37%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 14:3-3-0 Dead: 9:2-0-1
Around this trip: 2100 (1), 2150 (1), 2200 (1)
Last Start: 9th Sandown 15Nov14 1800m 1st Zabisco 4.35L 1st@800m, 3rd@400m

Led until the turn in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown third run from a spell before found wanting at the 400m, but didn’t give up the ghost in the run to the line, finishing just over 4L from the winner. That run will have topped him off nicely for this and has good form around this trip (4:2-0-1). He won the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) at Doomben in June so looks set to give a good sight here.

Thoughts: Could be the value runner as will be up on the pace and no problem with the trip. Looks a sound each-way chance.

11 – ELECTRIC FUSION – Form: 9060
Trainer: Robert Smerdon Jockey: Dwayne Dunn
Career: 25: 4-5-3 Weight: 55.0kg Barrier: 17
Average Prizemoney: $14,990 Win%: 16%  Place%: 48%
Around this trip: 2000 (2)
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 12:4-0-0 Dead: 12:0-4-3
Runs from a Spell: 6
Last Start: 10th Flemington 1st Atacama 5.05L 13th@800m, 9th@400m

Also came via the Atacama race at Flemington finishing behind Vilanova (9th), Fat Al (8th) and just over 4L behind Tuscan Fire (2nd). Last couple of runs ok and worked home fairly last time after being caught wide during the race. All four wins been on good tracks, which he will get here, but not going as well as some others and jumping from 17, the third outside gate.

Thoughts: Yet to win beyond 2000m and need to improve on his effort to figure in the finish. Outside place chance.

12 – MUJADALE – Form: 3071
Trainer: Paul A Jones Jockey: Kevin Forrester
Career: 37: 9-5-3 Weight: 55.0kg Barrier: 5
Average Prizemoney: $6,868 Win%: 24%  Place%: 46%
Track: 1:1-0-0 Track & Distance: 1:1-0-0 Good: 11:3-2-0 Dead: 22:6-2-2
Around this trip: 2000 (1), 2200 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 4
Last Start: 1st Ararat 09Nov14 2000m 2nd At First Sight 1.25L 2nd@800m, 2nd@400m

Ridden a treat by Kevin Forrester to win the Ararat Cup last start after tracking the leader and pouncing in the straight for solid 1.25L victory. Steps up to 2200m here where he’s a course & distance winner by 4L in April last year, although only 0-68 Hcp, but worth noting he has a win over the Chris Waller trained Junoob over 2400m at Caulfield, so has to be respected.

Thoughts: Find this tougher than last outing but record says he wins one in 4 races, plus he’s track & distance winner with a good jockey aboard drawn ideally in barrier 5. Ticks plenty of boxes and draw puts him up on the pace to make him a contender.

13 – MOTIVADO – Form: Px70
Trainer: David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Jockey: Chris Symons
Career: 25: 4-3-1 Weight: 54.0kg Barrier: 14
Average Prizemoney: $7,895 Win%: 16%  Place%: 32%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 18:4-2-1 Dead: 4:0-0-0
Around this trip: 1950 (1), 2500 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 2
Last Start: 16th Flemington 08Nov14 2000m 1st Held Hostage 33.50L 9th@800m, 10th@400m

Good effort when 7th first-up in the Seymour Cup (1600m) when beaten 3.15L but disappointed second-up at Flemington (1800m) in race won by Held Hostage with Shenzou Steeds (3rd) and Hvasstan (4th). Weakened out of it last time at the 400m mark to finish 33.5L from winner and even the in form David Hayes & Tom Dabernig stable will have a hard time getting him to win a Ballarat Cup off such a distant defeat.

Thoughts: Can’t have him on his last run but being kept safe in betting and may pay to follow the money as far as his chances are concerned. We are happy to leave him out of calculations.

14 – SPINDERBELLA – Form: 2131
Trainer: Robert Smerdon Jockey: Chad Schofield
Career: 9: 5-1-1 Weight: 54.0kg Barrier: 3
Average Prizemoney: $17,150 Win%: 56%  Place%: 78%
Track: 2:2-0-0 Track & Distance: 1:1-0-0 Good: 5:3-1-1 Dead: 2:1-0-0
Around this trip: 2000 (1), 2050 (1), 2200 (1), 2300 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 4
Last Start: 1st Moonee Valley 24Oct14 2040m 2nd No Excuses 1.00L 9th@800m, 9th@400m

Lightly raced in form mare who scored an outstanding last to first victory at Moonee Valley (2040m) at her most recent outing on Cox Plate eve. She has a terrific strike rate (9:5-1-1) and is unbeaten in two runs at the track, including a 4L victory over the track & trip on Cup Day last year, albeit a 0-70 handicap event. Ticks nearly every form box and knows how to win.

Thoughts: Fit, in form mare with solid form at the track & distance and a quality strike rate. Add Chad Schofield and barrier 3 and she is going to take a ton of beating. The one to beat with so many factors in her favour.

15 – YOU THINK SO – Form: x057
Trainer: Michael Kent Jockey: Jake Bayliss (a)
Career: 29: 7-6-3 Weight: 54.0kg Barrier: 10
Average Prizemoney: $11,945 Win%: 24%  Place%: 55%
Track: 1:0-0-0 Track & Distance: 1:0-0-0 Good: 13:5-0-1 Dead: 12:2-4-2
Around this trip: 2050 (1), 2500 (1), 2550 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 3
Last Start: 7th Ararat 09Nov14 2000m 1st Mujadale 3.15L 6th@800m, 7th@400m

Slowly getting back to his best after three runs from a long spell and worked home solidly in the Ararat Cup at most recent start finishing 3.15L behind winner Mujadale (1st), with At First Sight (2nd). Run ended close to home but loomed up on the turn and put the writing on the wall that he’s not far away from pulling out a big one. Could only run 5th in this race last year coming off a 4th in the Kyneton Cup and finished 4L behind third placegetter Hurdy Gurdy Man (#5 in Cup) in weaker field than he’ll face this year.

Thoughts: Three runs this time will be improved and and appreciate the extra trip, but we can only give him an outside place chance.

16 – RIALYA – Form: 7778
Trainer: Matt Laurie Jockey: Ms Michelle Payne
Career: 46: 8-1-3 Weight: 54.0kg Barrier: 18
Average Prizemoney: $13,271 Win%: 17%  Place%: 26%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 30:4-1-2 Dead: 11:2-0-1
Around this trip: 1900 (1), 2050 (1), 2200 (1), 2500 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 7
Last Start: 8th Sandown 15Nov14 2400m 1st Au Revoir 13.45L 1st@800m, 2nd@400m

Beaten 6.3L in Hamilton Cup and 6.6L in Kyneton Cup before taken to the lead 1600m out in the Listed Sandown Cup (2400m) last start where his race was over at the 300m mark, weakening to finish 13.45L from the winner Au Revoir. Down in class here but form not good enough and second outside gate is another negative.

Thoughts: Latest form and last run suggests he faces an uphill task. Add the wide gate and his chances are reflected by his current odds.

17 – WALTZING TO WIN – Form: 9144
Trainer: David Huxtable Jockey: Stephen Baster
Career: 18: 3-1-1 Weight: 54.0kg Barrier: 13
Average Prizemoney: $4,131 Win%: 17%  Place%: 28%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 12:2-0-1 Dead: 6:1-1-0
Around this trip: 2000 (1), 2050 (1)
Runs from a Spell: 9
Last Start: 4th Sandown 15Nov14 3200m 1st Renew 2.05L 11th@800m, 9th@400m

Been up for a while this campaign but continues to race honestly, as evidenced by her 4th in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) last time out at Sandown. Came from well back to hit the line well, although she had every chance and run appeared to have peaked on the line. Back from 2 mile to 2200m is not ideal but her city distance form last month was more than handy. She was beaten 3.6L in Group 3 Bart Cummings (2520m) won by Who Shot Thebarman, beaten 5.9L in Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), won by Big Memory, and 8.6L from Caravan Rolls On in Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m). Wide gate no help and yet to win beyond 2050m, which suggests winning this race may be out of her reach.

Thoughts: With luck in running can figure in the finish but place chance at best for ours.

18 – HAPPY AS HELL – Form: 9114
Trainer: Terry & Karina O’Sullivan Jockey: Jack Hill
Career: 17: 5-1-2 Weight: 54.0kg Barrier: 4
Average Prizemoney: $9,091 Win%: 29%  Place%: 47%
Track: 0:0-0-0 Good: 5:0-1-0 Dead: 8:4-0-2
Around this trip: Won up to 1800 (3)
Runs from a Spell: 4
Last Start: 4th Ararat 09Nov14 2000m 1st Mujadale 1.85L 7th@800m, 6th@400m

In great form winning the Horsham Cup two starts ago before didn’t have the best of luck in the straight when a fast finishing 4th in the Ararat Cup behind Mujadale (1st) and At First Sight (2nd), beaten 1.85L on the line. Yet to win beyond 1800m but finished just over 6L from winner in Group 1 Queensland Derby in June over 2400m, although not an overly strong field.

Thoughts: Lightly raced improving type who found the line nicely last start to suggest this trip will suit on the limit weight from barrier four. Still a query at the trip until he actually wins beyond 1800m, but has to be considered. Each-Way chance.

19 – SHENZHOU STEEDS – Form: x053
Trainer: Mitchell Freedman Jockey: Jarryd Fry
Career: 43: 7-2-3 Weight: 54.0 kg Barrier: 7
Average Prizemoney: $12,293 Win%: 16%  Place%: 28%
Track: 1:0-0-0 Track & Distance: 1:0-0-0 Good: 16:1-0-1 Dead: 17:2-1-2
Around this trip: 2150 (1), 2400 (1)
Last Start: 3rd Flemington 08Nov14 2000m 1st Held Hostage 2.75L, 7th@800m, 6th@400m


2014 Ballarat Cup Tips

Australian Thoroughbed Bloodstock’s Darren Dance often says “If you follow a tipster you’ll go broke!” so rather than provide a tip, we have merely provided our thoughts.

On face value, the two favourites Spinderella and Tuscan Fire have plenty in their favour and appear set to be in the finish.

Looking for value, Mujudale and The Inventor should be up on the pace and given every chance, while Happy As Hell is another improving type at good odds who is capable of surprising.

Whoever you end up backing, enjoy the day and we hope you get a winner or two!

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