First run in 1872 over 2 miles, the Geelong Cup has evolved into one of the most important lead-up races over the Melbourne spring carnival.
Because it’s 13 days before the first Tuesday in November, in modern times the race has become a major stepping stone to finding winners in the Melbourne Cup.
Three horses - all internationals - have previously completed the Geelong/Melbourne Cup double –Dunaden, Americain and Media Puzzle, helping to significantly raise the stature of the event. While there isn’t an overseas runner lining up this year, a quality field of thirteen will take part.
Top weight, Sertorius, is currently $6 with TAB.com.au. His last run was fair, but his performance two starts back in the Makybe Diva Stakes, was brilliant. He gets out to a distance which will suit him and Ryan Moloney jumps back aboard and knows the horse very well. Because he’s drawn wide, Moloney might roll forward and I’ve got no doubt he will be in the finish.
Shoreham ($10) was absolutely storming home last start and looks like he is warming to a win this spring. He’s not my top pick for the race but I’m sure he will have plenty of admirers after his run in the Turnbull. He will be flying late and if he produces his best he could just fly over the top of them.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the Geelong Cup here.
Peter Moody saddles up Wish Come True ($14). Two starts ago he put the writing on the wall with his run in the Newcastle Cup. It was super. He was caught wide and was a victim of the barrier draw. You could put a line through his Metropolitan run. He just didn’t truck into the race as he usually does. Peter is starting him for a reason, not just to make up the numbers.
The Tait family have a very promising mare in Zanbagh ($8). Previously trained by the late Guy Walter and now with Patrick Payne, this girl is something special and I think we will see the best of her in this race. I can’t believe she hasn’t been spoken about more in the media. While her runs this preparation on paper might not look fantastic, they’ve been full of merit. Last preparation she ran second in the ATC Oaks beaten a length. Rising Romance beat her that day and Lucia Valentina ran third. Not bad company at all.
More Than Scared ($4.20) lines up for Glen Boss and Robert Smerdon. Her Cranbourne Cup run was huge, especially on a tight track that didn’t probably suit. Coming to Geelong she should be more comfortable and no doubt will be winding up late. Her New Zealand form reads well. She ran third in an Auckland Cup (3200m) only beaten three lengths by Whoshotthebarman. And, if there’s one bloke who knows how to win a cup, it’s G Boss.
Like A Carousel ($12) was a nice run last start at Sandown, winning a race in which the runner-up has subsequently come out and won. He likes Geelong and you know he will run the distance. He has an awkward draw to contend with but he should be making his presence felt and has been set for this race by Ken Keys.
The Group 3 Geelong Cup is set to jump at 4pm (AEDT). Tune in to Sky Racing to catch all the action!
Both Marksmanship ($4.60) and Caravan Rolls On ($7.50) have drawn beautifully and will get perfect runs. Marksmanship was gallant in The Bart Cummings, while Caravan Rolls On was running on nicely at Sandown. Marksmanship’s form does read well and Ciaron Maher has been having a great season. However, of the two, I really like Caravan Rolls On. When she won the Sandown Cup we knew she was something out of the box. Danny O’Brien may have just timed her preparation to perfection. She’s in my top three.
The other runners in the race are Correggio ($35), Ominous ($41), Ali Vital ($11), Pretty Blonde ($61) and Waltzing to Win ($18). Apart from Ali Vital, I can’t tip or push the others. Ali Vital had excuses in the Cranbourne Cup and the evergreen Darren Gauci may just liven up the race early if the speed is not right.
It’s going to be a great race on Wednesday - there are genuinely four or five horses which can win it. But I think it could be the girls getting the chocolates.
My selections are Zanbagh from Caravan Rolls On, More Than Sacred and Wish Come True.
G2 - The Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle Race (class 1)
G2 - The Stanjames.com Champion Hurdle Trial (class 1)
G2 - The Peter Marsh Steeple Chase (a Limited Handicap)
G2 - The Altcar Novices' Steeple Chase (class 1)
G2 - The Olbg.com Mares' Hurdle Race (class 1)