Head to Head

A de­tailed pre­view of Satur­day’s fea­ture Group 1 with Shayne O’Cass and Ray Hick­son

The Sportsman Weekend - - News -

1. WHO SHOT THE­BAR­MAN

SO: What an amaz­ing stayer this fel­low is. He’s won $2.5m so far and I was told ear­lier this week he got bought out of a pad­dock in the South Is­land NZ for $10,000. This is his fourth Syd­ney Cup a row, he’s got two more to equal County Ty­rone! The Barman is dead­set two-miler, he’s good enough on wet ground, 57 is a de­cent weight but he’s earned it. Can see him in the frame.

RH: I think we agreed a cou­ple of weeks ago you can never leave him out in a two mile race. The fact he’s here tells us that Chris Waller is very happy with him since the ter­ri­ble in­ci­dent in the first run­ning of 2017 Syd­ney Cup. To be hon­est the fall leaves me a lit­tle less con­fi­dent about him than I was a fort­night back but, you’re right, he’s an amaz­ing stayer and you can’t dis­miss him. 2. LIBRAN

SO: Last year’s run­ner-up, Libran has taken the WFA path to this year’s Cup so that ex­plains the ‘8746’ along­side his name now as op­posed to ‘4111’ then (as in 2016). It’s hard pin down ex­actly how he is go­ing, the big plus is that The Gun back on, they have a great un­der­stand­ing. An­other Waller proven two miler, how can you dis­miss?

RH: You can’t and I do share your won­der­ing about ex­actly what form he is in. He was one of the first pulled out of the race two weeks ago by the way. Also, for those who don’t know ‘ The Gun’ is Bren­ton Av­dulla and Shayne is among his big­gest fans. One thing I’ll say is that Libran will be bet­ter suited here than at WFA and if we are away from the heavy tracks he’ll be ad­van­taged. 3. TALLY

SO: This son of Street Cry is on trial at the 3200m but he seems to have had a nice ground­ing into the Cup go­ing 1600m, 1800m, 2000m and 2400m win in the Morn­ing­ton

from last start. Bar­rier 1 and Tommy Berry, you’d think they get a cheap run. I have a feel­ing he’ll run the trip but I’d be hap­pier with 52kgs not 55kgs.

RH: You should add the 2000m he gal­loped on April 8 to that tally about Tally! I re­ally don’t know how he’ll go at the two miles but he’s pretty hon­est and class wise a Syd­ney Cup prob­a­bly suits. It wouldn’t sur­prise to see him some­where in the fin­ish but I pre­fer the Godol­phin im­ports. 4. BOOM TIME

SO: Boom Time is one of three horses (plus the two emer­gen­cies) that weren’t among the orig­i­nals in the no-race Syd­ney Cup. This horse was down in Mel­bourne. He won a 2425m race at Caulfield last Satur­day so he’s fit as a fid­dle. He’ll be hard on the ham­mer of Las­queti Spirit from out­set, may even have to take the field up to her at some point. Can’t win though can he?

RH: By Fly­ing Spur out of a Snip­pets mare...how does t hat add up to two miles? That said he did it pretty eas­ily at Caulfield against, with due re­spect, lesser op­po­si­tion. We can line him up with Tally though. He beat Tally home in the Aus­tralian Cup and wasn’t far be­hind at Morn­ing­ton and they are on the same weight terms. Ba­si­cally, if you give Tally a chance you give Boom Time a chance. 5. CHANCE TO DANCE

SO: He was sold for $260,000 at the Chair­man’s Sale at Inglis in

days be­fore the first Syd­ney Cup. Lloyd Wil­liams has a record of sell­ing horses that go on, Lin­ton is one, Vengeance of Rain an­other. Chance To Dance’s only run at 3200m was fourth in the Ade­laide Cup. Look, the big un­known is how Syd­ney Cup 1 af­fects him or oth­er­wise.

RH: Of course he did run sec­ond two weeks ago, worn down by Po­lar­i­sa­tion. Whether that’s a guide I don’t know. His run was bit bet­ter than it looked in the Ade­laide Cup and he’s down 5kg so that’s a plus. We’ve got to con­sider this will ef­fec­tively be his third 3200m race in just over a month, though. 6. BIG DUKE

SO: He was my top pick for the Cup the first time around rea­sons be­ing that he had/has no weight for a horse that is/was ab­so­lutely fly­ing and had his prepa­ra­tion timed to per­fec­tion. We know the record of the Man­ion Cup and Chair­man’s win­ners when it comes to Syd­ney Cup is com­pelling. Feel for Craig Wil­liams but not a bad re­place­ment in Glen Boss – he knows how to ride a two-miler!

RH: You know, the more I’ve thought about this race the I think he could be good thing of all good things. I know it’s a two mile race and I’ve jumped off him since cheer­ing him home at Launce­s­ton but there are so many pluses. He was on the seven day back up go­ing into first Cup so he’s vir­tu­ally had a three week break be­tween runs plus a 2000m track gal­lop. The weight drop is ir­re­sistible and he just has to be the one to beat. 7. HAR­LEM

SO: Har­lem in­ter­ests me greatly. This horse topped the Tatts Au­tumn Horses in Train­ing Sale in our spring last year chang­ing hands for 525,000 guineas which is a tick over $1m in our cur­rency. I read at the time that the chap who ponied up dough bought Har­lem specif­i­cally to win Syd­ney Cup! He’s a class act and fourth in the Ker­go­lay which is a big, big pointer to Aus­tralian 3200m suc­cess.

RH: In­ter­est­ing fac­toid there Shayno. The first-up run was great but I re­ally don’t know what to do with him be­ing left 20 lengths be­hind Winx on Cup 1 Day. He just didn’t go a yard and per­haps he’s not gen­uine wet tracker so the bet­ter the track the bet­ter chance he might have. Though he’s not in my think­ing here. 8. ANNUS MIRABILIS

SO: You tipped him in the Ade­laide Cup I do be­lieve, well done, $9 win­ner! Okay given you know him so well, what hap­pened in the Morn­ing­ton Cup next time? He did a re­verse Glas­ton­bury! Any horse that is 1 for 1 at two miles and is by Mon­t­jeu will have my undy­ing re­spect.

RH: Morn­ing­ton was a to­tal for­give run, he was back and they just weren’t run­ning on. That said he didn’t make a length. He was hard at it to go with the first three home in the no race and wasn’t origi- nally go­ing to con­test this re-run. I don’t think a proper Glas­ton­bury is on the cards. 9. MIS­TER IM­PA­TIENCE

SO: How amaz­ing, Hick­son, that to­mor­row will be the ninth 3200m race that Mis­ter Im­pa­tience has con­tested. That’s a two mile race ev­ery 5 starts on av­er­age. I can’t say he looks to be go­ing too flash but got beaten 10-lens the run be­fore won the Welling­ton Cup. I guess it’s just a matter of how he feels when he turns up on Satur­day.

RH: He was rac­ing mid­field when the Cup called off and was right on Po­lar­i­sa­tion’s back. He also not in the top eight in bet­ting there for what it’s worth. Re­gard­less of he might have done in the first run­ning, I don’t see how a 12th in the Auck­land Cup trans­lates to suc­cess here. 10. PENGLAI PAV­IL­ION

SO: I still think this horse should have gone to Oak­bank; he would

done the Von Doussa / Great Eastern dou­ble. Man, can jump! I read some­where that the team put some winkers on his and he ‘re­sponded’ in his work. That’s a pos­i­tive. To be hon­est, I can’t get line on him but Char­lie Ap­pleby is one clever dude.

RH: He was my tip two weeks ago and based on what I saw there I’ve weak­ened a lit­tle bit but am heart­ened by Ap­pleby’s com­ments since the winkers went on. The way Ker­rin McEvoy is rid­ing he’d win a Group 1 on a rock­ing horse so he has to be re­spected. He’s still Godol­phin’s best chance in my view.

SO: I tried to get my lit­tle $5 ew on Kinema at $41 but when I go to the ter­mi­nal he was $35. slide my fiver in and they ask me if will take $31! D’oh. Ap­par­ently he was pretty well backed on the day with cor­po­rates as well, I started to get a bit warm on him when track started to dry out. You and me said the same thing about him pre-Head 2 Head – his form is a lot like Grand Mar­shal be­fore he won the Syd­ney Cup at $41. Kinema is in my three.

RH: The overs gods are cruel, aren’t they?! I didn’t think Grand Mar­shal could win his Cup and I’m just as con­fi­dent that Kinema won’t win this one. I’m also more con­fi­dent I’ll be right this time (so there’s a head on the chop­ping block mo­ment). He’s had very heavy tracks to deal with but he hasn’t been hit­ting the line. 12. LAS­QUETI SPIRIT

SO: Loved your yarn on Lee Cur­tis to­day Hick­son. He’s so right, big lead­ers make for the best rac­ing mem­o­ries. Lee men­tioned Vo Rogue of course but who’ll ever for­get Craig Car­mody’s ride on In­tergaze in the Aus­tralian Cup. Bold is beau­ti­ful! Give her strength. I’d love to see her run them off their pins to­mor­row!

RH: It was some in the Oaks, af­ter get­ting away slowly and hav­ing her ears rid­den off for about 800m un­til she found the front. Then she had the au­dac­ity to keep go­ing and even fleet­ingly look the win­ner. It’s go­ing to take a su­per ride from Bobby El-Issa and one thing we know is she’s go­ing to make this race exciting to watch. I couldn’t back a filly against these hard­ened stay­ers but will hap­pily cheer if she’s in front at the 200m. 13. PEN­TATHLON

SO: I have never met John Wheeler but, like many, I re­gard him as a liv­ing leg­end of rac­ing. Not just be­cause of Rough Habit, but I read last week that he’s trained nine Great Easterns at Oak­bank. know it’s a cliche we use all the time but J R Wheeler is a mas­ter con­di­tioner. If you’re by Pen­tire, you nearly al­ways run two miles. He’s my shock and awe roughie here Hicko.

RH: He was an out­sider when he went around two weeks ago and he ac­tu­ally meets Big Duke worse at the weights for be­ing beaten 13 lengths by him last start. He might be one to keep in mind for Oak­bank in the next year or two. 14. PO­LAR­I­SA­TION

SO: He won the no-race we know that. I guess point to con­sider about that is not that he won, cause half the field was pulled up, but that he ex­erted so much en­ergy. It’s like has to run two 3200m races in the space of weeks. I’m no horse whis­perer but, hon­estly, you go back in his­tory and horses were run­ning four times in a week from 1200m to 2000m back again so it’s not like they are made of pa­per mache. Dis­cuss.

RH: The book­ies have cer­tainly been spooked by him ‘win­ning’ the first Cup. In try­ing to an­swer your back­ing up ques­tion I no­ticed he raced five times in six weeks back in 2015 for two wins and a third. That’s un­usual for Europe. His lit­tle is­sue, heat in a fet­lock, that came up a week ago is lit­tle con­cern but on what we saw on April 8 he de­serves re­spect. 11. KINEMA

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