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Sydney Cup Tips and Preview - Almandin may struggle at the weights

Aaron Hamilton in Latest News 11 Apr 2018
  • Weight is a great leveler over two miles.
  • Two chances to back at nice odds.
Blake Shinn after winning on Who Shot Thebarman

The fact is, half of Saturday’s Sydney Cup (3200m) field will struggle to run 2800, another quarter will struggle to run 3000m and of the other quarter, class will prevail provided luck in running is equal. 

We know 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin runs the trip but will his top weight of 57kg see him struggle as he did in last year’s Melbourne Cup with 56.5kg off a tough run.

Who Shot Thebarman won an Auckland Cup over this trip, has finished 3rd and 5th in the Melbourne Cup and has finished runner-up in the Sydney Cup on two occasions including a 2nd place behind Polarisation last year. 

He carries 2kg less than last year, follows the same lead-up path and really caught the eye last start when flashing home to finish 1.4 lengths from Almandin at level weights (59kg).

Make no mistake, a 2kg weight advantage over two miles is an absolute game changer with some experts believing it equates to four lengths.

Who Shot Thebarman finished 6.8 lengths from Almandin in the Melbourne Cup when carrying 4kg more, so, on that weight to length scale (0.5kg equals 1 length), Who Shot Thebarman may have beaten Almandin at level weights. 

Almandin looks under the odds as the $3.90 favourite, while Who Shot Thebarman looks over the odds at $15.

Five To Midnight, Sir Charles Road and Zacada all come through the Auckland Cup (3200m), and Sir Charles Road has subsequently won the Chairman’s Quality Handicap (2600m) at Randwick last Saturday while Zacada was seven lengths away.

I don’t rate that Auckland Cup for where they ran 3:22.170 on a Good track in quite a bunched finish, so therefore, I’m inclined to dismiss the Chairman’s form.

Who Shot Thebarman looks hardest to beat at the weights and is coming into form, while Almandin’s stablemate Aloft could surprise. 

Damien Oliver said he was surprised to get the ride on Almandin after Kerrin McEvoy won on him in the Tancred Stakes which points to McEvoy opting to switch to Aloft who is down on 51kg.

Aloft won his only start at the trip when taking out the Queen’s Vase at Ascot, but he has been outclassed by Almandin in the Bart Cummings (2500m) at his third Australian start, and again in the JRA Trophy (2500m) where he was three lengths back in 3rd and carried 4.5kg less than Almandin. 

He now meets Almandin with 6kg less and comes off a very convincing win where they went slow early but Aloft sprinted best to score over Fanatic who went on to win the Adelaide Cup. 

Aloft runs the trip and has had an ideal preparation (for Team Williams horses), and with no weight on his back, he’s the danger to Who Shot Thebarman.

However, at double the price, I’d prefer to be on Who Shot Thebarman while having a saver on Aloft at $8.50


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Sydney Cup Tips and Preview - Almandin may struggle at the weights

The fact is, half of Saturday’s Sydney Cup (3200m) field will struggle to run 2800, another quarter will struggle to run 3000m and of the other quarter, class will prevail provided luck in running is equal.

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