After many thousands of words about the Sydney Cup this week relating to its history, it is probably best we get straight into the selections without any more delay.
4th. Aliyana Tide. A promising light weight chance that always runs on and looks ideally suited at the 3200m.
3rd. Kelinni. The favourite but should he be so short? Yes he ran on really well in the Melbourne Cup with no weight and he is in good form, but there just seems to be a bit of a knock on his sprint at the end of two miles. He took it right up to Fiveandahalfstar in the BMW but wilted late. Perhaps his best distance is the 2400m rather than the 3200m. Having said all that, he can stay a bit and will be mighty hard to beat, but there just seems to be two that are slightly better suited.
2nd. Julienas. It looked like this horse broke down at his last start. He was simply that bad. But he is a European import and they are simply better at the distance races. He will run the 3200m and is simply too tough to be left out. It is not often that Gai aims a horse at a race four months out and it does not perform at its grand final. This is Julienas’ grand final.
1st. Mourayan. Now this former 3rd placegetter in the Irish Derby has not really done anything good since getting to Australia many moons ago. But Lloyd and Nick Williams have in the past compared Sydney racing to the Victorian provincials, but they always send this horse north. Mourayan saves his best for Sydney and he has done pretty well at the two miles in the past.
So there we go. It is not a vintage Sydney Cup. It is also important to reiterate (after the two historic Sydney Cup pieces earlier in the week) that only two horses ever have won the Sydney Cup in the autumn then backed up and won the Melbourne Cup in the spring. They just happened to be two of the best stayers in Australian racing history in Makybe Diva and Carbine. There probably is not a Carbine or a Diva in this race; and based on the history of the race, whichever horse wins on Saturday can almost be guaranteed a black line through it come Melbourne Cup day. But there is still $500,000 up for grabs and the way the Australian breeding industry has progressed, it is hard to see an internationally bred horse being beaten in the two mile classic on Saturday.
By Zeb Armstrong