First acceptances for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) closed on Monday afternoon, with 44 of the initial 91 nominated horses remaining in contention for the $1.6 million race.
Unsurprisingly, Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Protectionist headlines the field with a top weight of 58kg. It was a fantastic win for the German raider, putting a massive margin on his 22 rivals to win by four lengths.
The five-year-old horse enjoyed a winning barrier trial at his home base of Newcastle on February 2 before resuming in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), which was his first start for new trainer Kris Lees.
It was always a longshot that the proven stayer would excel over 1800 metres but with two mile races few and far between, he needed to kick start his campaign somewhere. Jockey Craig Williams reported Protectionist was not suited to the Caulfield circuit, finishing four lengths off winner Mourinho in sixth place.
Red Cadeaux and Who Shot Thebarman remain in contention for the 2015 Sydney Cup, rounding out the Melbourne Cup first three home. Nine-year-old Red Cadeaux is set to get his first Australian start outside of the race that stops the nation this Saturday in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington before travelling to Sydney.
Chris Waller’s Who Shot Thebarman resumed in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 28, finishing one and a half lengths off winner Contributer in fifth place.
Speaking of the Chipping Norton Stakes, runner-up Hartnell features in the first acceptances as well as in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on the same day.
The British import had his first Australian start at Warwick Farm on February 28, finishing half a length behind Contributer. The gelding was second last in the field to the 600 metres before steering between runners rounding the home turn and getting a split at the 200 metres. He got to third place passing the 100 metres and battled on gamely.
Hartnell has placed in 10 of his 14 career starts, including over two miles in the Listed Queen’s Vase (3219m) at Royal Ascot last June. He is set to carry the minimum weight of 52kg.
Other talented stayers that feature in the 2015 Sydney Cup first acceptances include the Hong Kong-based Dominant, Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) runner-up Rising Romance, Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) winner and Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) third Renew, and Gai Waterhouse’s Greatwood.
The Sydney Cup is one of eight Group One races that make up The Championships series, running at Royal Randwick Racecourse on April 4 and 11. Check out the full list of first acceptances for the race below.
Open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account to place an early bet on the 2015 Sydney Cup and you’ll receive up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet.
2015 Sydney Cup First Acceptances
Royal Randwick Racecourse – 11/04/2015
|1||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||1||58kg||115|
|2||DOMINANT (IRE)||John Moore||2||56.5kg||112|
|3||RED CADEAUX (GB)||Ed Dunlop||3||56.5kg||112|
|4||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||4||53.5kg||110|
|5||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||5||55kg||107|
|6||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||6||54.5kg||108|
|7||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||7||54.5kg||107|
|8||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Peter G Moody||8||54kg||107|
|9||ROYAL DIAMOND (IRE)||John Sadler||9||54kg||107|
|10||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||10||52.5kg||104|
|11||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||11||52kg||109|
|12||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||John O’Shea||12||52kg||104|
|13||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||13||52kg||104|
|14||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||14||52kg||103|
|15||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||15||52kg||103|
|16||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||16||52kg||102|
|17||GREATWOOD (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||17||52kg||101|
|22||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||22||52kg||97|
|23||WISH COME TRUE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||23||52kg||96|
|24||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||24||52kg||95|
|25||RENEW (IRE)||Archie Alexander||25||52kg||95|
|26||OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB)||Chris Waller||26||52kg||95|
|27||SABOR A TRIUNFO (CHI)||Peter & Paul Snowden||27||52kg||92|
|28||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||28||52kg||92|
|29||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||Peter G Moody||29||52kg||92|
|30||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||30||52kg||92|
|31||SHOW THE WORLD (NZ)||Murray Baker||31||52kg||89|
|32||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||32||52kg||87|
|33||TUPAC AMARU||John O’Shea||33||52kg||83|
|34||MARTINVAST (IRE)||Archie Alexander||34||52kg||81|
|35||RAWNAQ||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||35||52kg||80|
|36||ONLY A PLEASURE (IRE)||Archie Alexander||36||52kg||79|
|37||ARTIBAI (GB)||Kris Lees||37||52kg||75|
|38||BOOGIE SHOES (GB)||John Sargent||38||52kg||74|
|39||DON DOREMO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||39||52kg||72|
|40||DOUKHAN (IRE)||Kris Lees||40||52kg||72|
|41||FELIX BAY||Kevin Moses||41||52kg||70|
|43||MIDAS (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||43||52kg||66|