Corey Brown is excited about his chances to win the Sydney Cup again, a race he had to win twice a year ago.
Last year Godolphin’s Polarisation hit the line first in the 3200m-staying feature without Brown realising the race had been called off because of a fall. A fortnight later the English horse claimed the re-run race for Brown and trainer Charlie Appleby.
Brown had never ridden Polarisation before the Sydney Cup and he was similarly unfazed by the same scenario with the John O’Shea trained import Peribsen.
“John asked me a good while ago if I’d ride the horse so I’ve kept an eye on him and I’m more than happy to be riding him,” Brown said.
The five-year-old joined O’Shea’s stable last year to target the $2 million race and has two wins and two placings from six starts in Sydney.
Back-to-back thirds in the Group Three Manion Cup (2400m) and last Saturday’s Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) gave Brown confidence he had made the right call.
“I loved his run in the Chairman’s and obviously his run before that as well,” he said. “I’ve watched all his replays, I feel I know him back to front already without having been on him on race day.”
Brown hopped on Peribsen for the first time on Thursday for a light canter after missing Tuesday’s gallop because he was resting a rib injury suffered when he nearly fell from The Lord Mayor in last Saturday’s Australian Derby.
“Although he’s double figure odds, on paper and from what I’ve viewed I thought he’d be a lot shorter,” he said.
Peribsen has firmed from $31 into $23. The 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin ($4.20), a former German stayer owned by Lloyd Williams, has been favourite since his last start win in the Tancred Stakes.
Brown won his second Melbourne Cup last spring on the Joseph O’Brien-trained Williams-owned Rekindling who is now based in Victoria with trainer Liam Howley.
Williams is also represented by Aloft, on the third line of betting at $8.50 behind $6.50 second elect Sir Charles Road, the Chairman’s Quality winner and one of three New Zealand horses in the field.
Pre Stwick ($11) has made the trip from Japan.
Brown expects the invaders to overshadow the Australian contingent.