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Sydney Cup: preview, live blog, tips and results

19th April, 2014
Sydney Cup field

1. Voleuse De Coeurs
2. Sertorius
3. Who Shot Thebarman
4. The Offer
5. Brigantin
6. Epingle
7. Tupac Amaru
8. Gondokoro
9. Let’s Make Adeal
10. Opinion
11. Hippopus
12. Tremac
13. Desert Jeuney
14. Macedonian
15. Angola
16. Like A Carousel
17. Fifth Column
Voleuse de Coeurs, seen here doing trackwork at Werribee International Quarantine Centre prior to last year's Melbourne Cup, is the horse to beat in the 2014 Sydney Cup. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Expert
19th April, 2014
38

Two miles – it’s the most gruelling test for Australian stayers on the flat. Join us from 3:15pm AEST for a full preview, live blog and post-race analysis of the Group 1 Sydney Cup which is due to begin at 3:45pm AEST.

Run under handicap conditions, the 3200m Sydney Cup is the autumn equivalent of spring’s Melbourne Cup. It’s a race which provides plenty of insight for Melbourne as the Sydney carnival comes to an end.

The Offer has been the firm favourite in betting since markets opened, having demolished his opponents in his past two starts. Winning the Group 3 Manion Cup by three lengths, the European import stamped his authority on the Australian staying landscape in style.

He followed up with a clinical display to score by two lengths in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap, where he looked a class above the rest of the field.

The key to The Offer is getting a wet track and he strikes gold here today. More importantly, he has been very generously handicapped despite his dominance over the past month, which makes him the deserved favourite.

There has been plenty of intrigue in the Tasman-crosser, Who Shot Thebarman. The New Zealander has come over for his first Australian run following his two-length win in the Group 1 Auckland Cup, also over 3200m.

Form out of the Auckland Cup has always been questionable, but never more than it is this year considering the winner was running around at benchmark 85 level a few months ago.

Carrying a very light weight, the Kiwi beat home Celtic Prince, who at best is a Sydney midweeker, so the form out of this year’s Auckland Cup appears exceptionally weak.

It is extremely rare to see a three-year-old taking on older horses under handicap conditions like this, but Peter Snowden has opted to back up Tupac Amaru after a strong run to finish second in last week’s Group 1 Australian Derby.

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Having slugged out a strong 2400m the colt will need a mammoth effort here, but Snowden genuinely believe he is capable of it. The Street Cry colt is an absolute mudlark and is yet to miss a place in his three starts on heavy ground.

While most of the horses in this field can be linked through some form line or another, Tupac Amaru is the x-factor of the race.

Since arriving in Australia last spring, Voleuse De Coeurs has not had one iota of luck. She has copped her share of bad rides and races at odd tempo, but she is still as good as her five-length win in the Group 1 Irish St Leger suggests.

Winning a two-mile race as the top weight is nearly impossible, but she is essentially a Group 1 horse taking on Group 2 horses here under the handicap conditions. She will have no problem running the two miles, and like most of the Europeans will handle the track conditions to be in with a winning chance.

Tremac was game behind The Offer in the Chairman’s Handicap, but comes in worse at the weights compared to that run. He has proven himself as a wet-track runner but will need plenty of luck in running to replicate that last run.

Throughout the season, Opinion and Hippopus have been very competitive against The Offer and they too can handle the wet ground. If Randwick dries up into the slow range, the scales will tip slightly in their favour and we can expect The Offer to drift on anything better than a heavy track.

Others worth considering if the ground dries up are Sertorius, Epingle and Let’s Make Adeal.

Despite the big field, the race hinges on The Offer and how wet the ground will be.

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The Sydney Cup will jump at 3:45pm AEST.

Roar racing writers’ autumn tipping competition (five points if winning horse is tipped for first; three points if tipped for second; two for third and one for fourth):

Alfred Chan – Roar Guru and today’s live blogger
1. Voleuse De Coeurs
2. The Offer
3. Tupac Amaru
4. Hippopus

Justin Cinque – Roar Racing Editor
1. Who Shot Thebarman
2. The Offer
3. Voleuse De Coeurs
4. Sertorius

Cameron Rose – Roar Expert
1. The Offer
2. Tupac Amaru
3. Let’s Make Adeal
4. Sertorius

Brad Durrant – Roar Guru
1. Sertorius
2. The Offer
3. Voleuse De Coeurs
4. Desert Jeuney

Brent Ford – Roar Guru
1. The Offer
2. Who Shot the Barman
3. Tupac Amaru
4. Desert Jeuney

Points tally after Day 1 of The Championships
Brent Ford – 39
Justin Cinque – 30
Cameron Rose – 29
Alfred Chan – 22
Brad Durrant – 22

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