A final field and eleven and barrier draw for Saturday’s featured 2016 Sydney Cup (3200m) has been completed and released; highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Autumn Carnival’s standout stayers.
Libran has returned to racing in particularly slick form this time and will leave from the ideal barrier 3 in the 2016 Sydney Cup.
A British import, Libran has been a strong and consistent performer through his entire racing career in posting eight wins and two minors through only eighteen starts, but has undoubtedly found career-best form to date since arriving in trainer Chris Waller’s care last spring.
Debuting in Australia for sixth in a Flemington minor over 1800m in early November before immediately returning to the paddock, Libran resumed this time for third in the Gardenia Handicap (1600m) before making a commendable transition to black type company in placing fourth in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m).
Charging home to win the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) on March 5th, the Lawman gelding is seeking a fourth-consecutive win in the Sydney Cup after taking out each of the Group 3 NE Manion Stakes (2400m) and Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) most recently.
Waller is set to launch a three-pronged attack on the staying feature after also including Who Shot Thebarman (barrier 5) and Grand Marshal (barrier 6) in the 2016 Sydney Cup field.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the Auckland Cup (3200m), Who Shot The Barman was a standout for Waller through the 2015 edition of the Autumn Carnival, peaking with a close second in the Sydney Cup.
Resuming this time for ninth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), the Yamanin Vital gelding placed tenth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) a fortnight later before running third in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) and a close second in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) last time.
Grand Marshal won last year’s Sydney Cup at $41 odds and has been a leader of Waller’s staying ranks since.
While unable to replicate his impressive late autumn form through the Spring Carnival, Grand Marshal clearly took plenty of benefit from his first two runs this time when fifth in the Sky High Stakes and third in The BMW a fortnight ago.
David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have a big opinion of Almoonqith, who will leave from barrier 11 in the Sydney Cup with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
A strong and consistent performer through his entire racing career so-far, Almoonqith capped his maiden Australian campaign with success in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) and has steadily built to the task through three starts this time.
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2016 Sydney Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||58701×9032||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||5||57kg||–||111|
|2||067101×906||ALMOONQITH (USA)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Hugh Bowman||10||55.5kg||–||106|
|3||75003×0853||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||6||55kg||–||108|
|4||x1x6x34111||LIBRAN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||3||53kg||2.0kg||107|
|5||150311×474||AUVRAY (FR)||John P Thompson||Tommy Berry||8||53kg||–||101|
|6||5x69x31145||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||1||52.5kg||–||100|
|7||x0x0069x03||GALLANTE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Kerrin McEvoy||11||51.5kg||–||99|
|8||8x900x7723||CAFE SOCIETY (FR)||Gai Waterhouse||Chad Schofield||9||51kg||–||95|
|9||000544×978||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7||51kg||–||91|
|10||211246×326||DEE I CEE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Thomas Huet||4||51kg||–||74|
|11||151042×451||BAYANOVA (NZ)||Michael Kent||Ms Jackie Beriman||2||51kg||–||73|