Sportsbet Ballarat Cup | Runner By Runner Preview

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Champion trainer Darren Weir is will saddle six runners in the Sportsbet Ballarat Cup as he attempts to break a long drought in the prestigious country Cup.

Weir last won the race in 2005 with Just The Part. His bottom weighted Lucky For All heads Cup betting ahead of stablemates Another Coldie and Kiwia.

The Cup has a capacity field of 18 and looks very open. Here’s a look at how the field shapes up.

LIFE LESS ORDINARY

Has his hoof on the till and not far away in G1 company two starts back. Latest was close second in Listed race on Cup day. Big weight is major concern, but Waller trained and will be in top order.

LORD FANDANGO

Ran up to challenge and then ran out of puff last week when fourth to The Taj Mahal in the G2 Zipping Classic (2400m). Only up .5kgs,  down in grade and should be peaking now after four runs from a break. Wide alley a negative.

ANOTHER COLDIE

Won his last two in Country Cups at Horsham and Kyneton. He is up in grade, but won with authority on both occasions and the first, in race book order, of DK Weir’s runners.

TRADESMAN

Comes into this third-up and although seventh behind Tally in last week’s G3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) he did not get a lot of luck. Cramped for room and only really got mobile when the race was over. Weir, out to suitable distance and definite top three contender.

KIWIA

Another Weir runner that also didn’t get a lot of luck in the same race as Tradesman.  He’ll also appreciate the step up to 2200m and this looks a nice race for him.

MASK OF TIME

Outside barrier is no help. He wasn’t far away when fourth to Tally last week. He did have the gun run and appeared to have had enough on the line. First go at 2200m now.

LUVALUVA

Lightly raced mare that comes into this second-up. Resumed with nice effort behind Kenedna in Flemington G2. She lost her spot on the turn and took a while to wind-up and then savaged the line.

ANDREA MANTEGNA

Won the Ararat Cup at his last start for Weir. Big step-up in class now.

BERISHA

Drew wide and made up ground in G3 Bendigo Cup, but needs to lift for this.

ONE MORE TRY

Handy mare with five career wins including last three in a row. Most recent beat own sex in mares Hcp raced on speed and likely to go forward again and she is a winner this track.

PILOTE D’ESSAI

Won this race two years ago. Then won next start and has not won since.

LYCURGUS

Turned in a solid effort when third in Flemington B90 (2000m) last start. Over raced in the middle stages and travelled deep from the 600m. Comes into this third-up and although tougher he does drop 5.5kgs and is in the mix.

MASTER ZEPHYR

Handy country performer for the Weir stable, but doubt he is up to these. Only third in Ararat Cup at his latest outing.

SWACADELIC

Hasn’t done enough in three starts this prep’ to suggest he has a chance of winning here.

ONCIDIUM RULER

Placed this track and distance and fitter for first-up run, when well beaten in easier grade.

SILVERA

Beaten less than two lengths behind Top Prospect in B90 at Flemington when had every chance.

LUCKY FOR ALL

Sixth behind Weir stablemate Top Prospect in B90 (2000m) at Flemington last start, when appeared to have every chance. Won previous start B76 at Caulfield and was beaten just over four lengths in G1 Qld Derby in the winter.

HE EKSCELS

In the money last two starts, including last start second behind Tally at Sandown last week. Led and fought on strongly, good alley, no weight and not the worst.

Best: Kiwia. Dangers: Luvaluva, Tradesman, Lucky For All.

What do you think?