Palmerbet Racing Team takes a long look at the time-honoured Sydney Cup on Day Two of The Championships. A strong field contests this year’s edition, headed by 2016 Melbourne Cup winner, Almandin. Read on to see our tips!

1. ALMANDIN (5)  x21402x241

T: Liam Howley / J: Damien Oliver

Super impressive in winning the WFA Gr 1 Tancred Stakes this year, and of course we know he won the Gr 1 Melbourne Cup this trip easily a few years back. Looks in terrific shape and that makes him grades above most of these. Should go close.

2. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (10) x94491x673

T: Chris Waller / J: Blake Shinn

Is an outstanding old stayer who showed when 3rd in the Gr 1 Tancred that he can still mix it with the best younger ones. Has placed in this race before and is certain to be dashing home hard again.

3. LIBRAN (20)  x616528x42

T: Chris Waller / J: Brenton Avdulla

Showed last start that he’s back to his best when he ran a blinder for 2nd in the Gr 2 Sky High Stakes. Back in 2016 he was runner-up in this very race so the trip is no issue for him. Will be competitive.

4. VENTURA STORM (8)  6200×43782

T: Team Hayes & Dabernig / J: Glen Boss

Nicely drawn here and did fight on well last week showing he was back in form but doubts exist in regards to his ability to run out a solid two miles.

5.  SINGLE GAZE (21) 4420×22525

T: Nick Olive / J: Kathy O’Hara

Great campaigner and is the sentimental favourite. Reports suggest she retires win lose or draw after this race. Was runner-up in the Gr 1 Caulfield Cup but only plodded last start when 5th in the Gr 1 Tancred. Was up on pace that day. If she sits back she has a shot at placing.

6. PRE STWICK (11) x3x61x93x5

T: Yoshinori Muto / J: Joao Moreira

He is the dark horse here – even though he’s a grey! Knows how to stay really well. Is from Japan and has form in the big staying events in his home land. Has been working very well since arriving. Put in numbers.

7. FIVE TO MIDNIGHT (9)  8042132822

T: Lisa Latta / J: Michael Dee

Strong, exciting stayer and more importantly, reliable stayer from New Zealand. Was beaten a nose in the Gr 1 Auckland Cup over 3200m in good time in March. Kiwi stayers tend to go very well in their first start here so respect his prowess.

8. AUVRAY  (1) 12127×5616

T: Richard Freedman / J: Glyn Schofield

This is a fighter, a typical, dour stayer with dash. He is well up to this and if his mind’s on the job, he can come with a great rush. Won the Sky High then a closing 6th in Tancred. Drawn to receive run of the race.

9. LORD FANDANGO (2) x2114x3977

T: Archie Alexander / J: Craig Williams

Dashed home for 4th in the Gr 1 Caulfield Cup last spring but runs this time up have been below par. Mind you, wasn’t given the best of rides when 7th in the recent 2400m Manion Cup. Is capable of winning, but seems a little out of form.

10. ALOFT  (13) x12x1397x1

T: Liam Howley / J: Kerrin McEvoy

If last start is any indication, he’ll go forward and make it a true staying test, which should suit him and his stablemate Almandin. Won brilliantly last start over 2600m at Flemington. But back in the Spring was 3rd to Almandin and meets him 1.5kg better for being beaten 4 lengths that day. Place because he has won this trip.

11. FANATIC (16) 141640


12. ZACADA  (12)  8232515850

T: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman / J: Dean Holland

Plodding stayer from New Zealand who just seems to be a couple of lengths behind a few of these. Was beaten nearly 8 lengths last week by Sir Charles Road for example.

13. SIR CHARLES ROAD  (4)  5801331461

T: Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott / J: Andrew Adkins

Was heavily backed on Aussie debut in the Gr 2 Chairman Stakes over 2600m last week and came with a strong burst late to win in a photo over Ventura Storm. Ran through line very hard. Big show.

14. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (19) 3253×36143

T: Darren Weir / J: Blake Spriggs

This bloke is a good stayer and can carry weight but he lacks dash and should find this tough over final 200m. Is honest though and has no weight on his back.

15. LASQUETI SPIRIT (18)  530x00x789

T: Lee Curtis / J: Jay Ford

What do we make of her? Led all way by a huge margin to win the Gr 1 VRC Oaks over 2500m and looked like a world beater but not won a race in many starts since. Led and went okay with 56.5kg in Gr 1 Tancred last start beaten 6 lengths by Almandin. Meets him so much better at weights but doubts on her ability to stay the trip.

16. CISMONTANE (3) 103310×558

T: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott / J: James Innes

Is another who likes to drive forward. Led the last Melbourne Cup field to the home bend before weakening to 13th. There is pace in this Cup and his form hasn’t been great this time up, but he’s on home track. Could sneak a place at big odds.

17. PATRICK ERIN (17)  1×31311465

T: Chris Waller / J: Craig Newitt

Has talent which he showed when racing in New Zealand, where he ran 4th in Gr 2 Wellington Cup over 3200m recently. Has made ground late in only 2 starts here but this step up in grade should test.

18. PERIBSEN (6)  746×015133

T: John O’Shea / J: Corey Brown 

Locally owned, bred and raced and does give the impression the further the race the better he likes it. Our only concern is he has gone from a provincial class 1 win in January to be Gr 2 placed last week behind Sir Charles Road. This may just be another step too far but is promising.

19. ADMIRAL JELLO (15) 3323×67297

T: Kris Lees / J: Grant Buckley

Solid open grade stayer but this company is a bridge too far. Should struggle final 200m.

20. ORMITO (7) 5457233324

T: Darren Weir / J: Dean Yendall

He came home like a train when 2nd in the 3200m Gr 2 Adelaide Cup earlier in March. And not too shabby when getting home hard behind Sir Charles Road last week. This harder again but no weight and can stay on well. Place show.

21E. DOURKHAN (14)  4658115×55

T: Kris Lees / J: Yusuke Ichikawa

Will love the fact he has no weight on his back as he usually lumps around 59kg around when he races – but they are nearly always BM 85 grade races. This looks too tough.

Tip: 1. ALMANDIN, 2. Five To Midnight, 3. Pre Stwick, 4. Who Shot Thebarman