The German-bred import is still searching for his first Australian victory. The gelding was racing in top company in the UK before arriving Down Under, including starting in the G1 St Leger at Doncaster at his last start in the Northern Hemisphere. This will be his 10th start for the prep which started back in October, with the last four starts showing he is right in the mix in this type of race and that the 3200m will suit. Last start in the Roy Higgins with 54kg Williams had him settled near the rear of the small field and was closing out strongly to finish 1.2 lengths from the winner Aloft. He meets Fanatic 3.5kg better off than that race where Fanatic beat him home by a neck. He will also meet Double Bluff 3.5kg better than their meeting in the Torney Cup over 2500m at Moonee Valley when beaten less than a half-length.
One of the chances for a ‘local’ victory, 6YO gelding Exalted Lightning has had a sustained preparation, having his first start this time in back in October and maintained his form where he has started at least twice every month in that period. Three starts back the gelding carried 59kg in the Strathalbyn Cup over 2050m when running a narrow 2nd to Fantastic Magic. Back to 55kg in his next start he scored by just under two lengths at Morphettville at Listed level in the Birthday Cup. His final hit-out in readiness for the cup was in the Lord Reims when 4th to Etah James, a race he finished 10th in last year on his way to a 10th in the Adelaide Cup. This is another step up to where he has been, but with a good alley and dropping to 54.5kg, can the Lightning strike?
One of only two runners in the field to have proven themselves with a victory at the two miles, the mare will be looking to be the first mare to win the race since 2008. The Hayes/Dabernig team are airborne at present and this mare arrives with a one length second to Aloft in the Roy Higgins Quality at her last start, a race that looks to have the right form lines for this race. Last campaign she was 4 lengths from Vengeur Masque in the 2400m Geelong Cup and then secured successive wins, the first at 2800m at Flemington on Stakes Day and then at 3200m in the Sandown Cup when carrying 55kg. The dry track will suit and she has stepped up at each trip this time nicely, just like last prep as she was stepped out each trip. With a win in the Australian Cup for the stable on Saturday aboard Harlem, Michael Walker will look to secure the double.
With wins at three of her past five starts, the MacDonald/Gluyas trained mare comes into the race in solid form as she steps out to the two mile trip for the first time. Taken to Tasmania to attack their feature Cups, she was ridden on the pace in the Hobart Cup and with 55.5kg was bought to the better ground down the outside rail and was gallant in holding on for a narrow victory under hands and heels from Ben Allen. Copping a 2.5kg penalty for the Hobart win, she carried 58kg in the Launceston Cup when ridden further back in the pack when settling on the rails. Probing for gaps after sticking close to the rails she just couldn’t go with the winner Bondeiger when he found the right opening to forge clear of the field. Being a three-time winner at Morphettville helps her chances, however the 57kg is of some concern.
The UBET Adelaide Cup is one of the pinnacle events for the South Australian Jockey Club and takes place on the 2nd Monday in March. The Group 2 race is a handicap event for 3 year olds and older with a minimum weight this year of 53kg.
Conducted over 3200m, the Cup is 1 of only 3 races at Group status held over the traditional 2 mile trip or 3200m on the Australian turf calendar. The others being the Sydney and Melbourne Cup that are both held at G1 status. Formerly a Group 1 event the South Australian Cup was downgraded to G2 classification in 2007.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2018 is $400,000 with the winner to pocket $256,000. The 2017 winner was the Henry Dwyer trained Annus Mirabilis, ridden by Regan Bayliss. Other past winners include Zavite, Pantani, The Hind, Subzero and the 3 time winner Lord Reims.
|Date:||Monday 12th March 2018|
|Race Time:||16:50 AEDT|
|Race Type:||3YO &Up|
|2017 Winner:||Annus Mirabilis|
|2018 Adelaide Cup Odds|