Big Duke Ready for 2017 Sydney Cup

April 6th, 2017

Manager of owning syndicate Australian Bloodstock, Jamie Lovett is excited by Big Duke’s prospects of success in Saturday’s 2017 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick.

Big Duke is the clear favourite to win Saturday's Group 1 Sydney Cup at Royal Randwick. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Big Duke is the clear favourite to win Saturday’s Group 1 Sydney Cup at Royal Randwick. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Big Duke has found excellent conditions leading into Saturday’s feature and will be seeking a fourth-consecutive race win in the Sydney Cup after taking out each of the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m), Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) and Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) most recently.

Lovett told RSN that the team has been thrilled with everything that the Raven’s Pass gelding has produced to date and is hopeful he will continue his winning run of form through the Sydney Cup 2017.

“I don’t think anyone thought he’d be doing it in one prep,” Lovett said.

“We’ve always had an opinion of the horse, but usually you’re thinking that they’ll have a reasonably quiet first prep after they arrive in Australia and then you see the best of them in their second prep.

“He’s a gelding and he just seems to thrive on racing and every time we lift the bar, he just seems to climb over it. He’s untapped and certainly giving his owner quite a thrill.

“He’s got the right profile going into the race. He’s a horse that seems like he’ll run the trip. Coming from a 58 back to a 52, he’s well in at the weights.

“There’s a fair element of confidence going in.”

The 2017 Melbourne Cup is an obvious target for Big Duke should he perform well at two miles for the first time on Saturday and Lovett confirmed that he will be set for the first Tuesday of November, should he resume in spring in similar condition.

“He’s a horse that certainly would make the Melbourne Cup field, being a Group 2 winner here in Australia,” he said.

“Given he comes up next time in and Darren is happy with him, it’s certainly the race we’d target.”

Big Duke had four starts in the United Kingdom before he was purchased and transferred to the care of Darren Weir and ended his European tenure a smart winner of the Yorkshire Post Magazine Handicap (2011m) in May last year.

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2017 Sydney Cup odds, for which Big Duke can be taken at a quote of $2.70.