A talented field of 16 plus three emergencies has been confirmed to line up for the 2014 Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield racecourse this weekend, including Macedon Lodge runner Mourayan.
While yet to record a sixth race victory since taking out the major Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on this weekend one year ago, the Alhaarth entire has returned to the track in good order this preparation, unlucky to finish second behind Fiorente in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) before running on to finish fourth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).
Having also been included in nominations for this year’s edition of the Sydney Cup on day 2 of The Championships, trainer Robert Hickmott, who will also saddle Tanby (barrier 4) in the 2014 Easter Cup, has instead elected to keep Mourayan (barrier 13) in his home state of Victoria in an attempt to return to the winner’s circle ahead of a likely trip to Queensland for the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Interestingly, only one runner confirmed in the final field will carry winning form into the 2014 Easter Cup; Chris Waller-trained Our Voodoo Prince.
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of leading European trainer Ed Dunlop, Our Voodoo Prince has hit arguably career best form since arriving at Waller’s Flemington stables at the conclusion of his 2013 preparation, claiming a so-far perfect record of two wins from as many starts.
Having been allocated the ideal barrier 7 for the 2014 Easter Cup, Waller is confident of continued success for the Kingmambo gelding this weekend.
Arguably the most heavily affected by Wednesday’s Easter Cup barrier draw of all leading chances, Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding Julienas will have to overcome the awkward and wide gate 16 if to register an eighth career win this weekend.
Yet to hit peak condition over three race starts this preparation, the Cape Cross gelding was unlucky when blocked for a run and fifth in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (1900m) on March 22nd, and appeared to have claimed a memorable victory when pulling clear in the final straight of the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) last time out before fading terribly late and finishing well off the pace in eleventh.
Also included in nominations for the Sydney Cup, Waterhouse is confident a step down in rating and distance is precisely what is needed for Julienas to return to winning form this weekend.
Consistent performer Escado will leave from the ideal inside barrier in the 2014 Easter Cup, while Peter Gelagotis-trained gelding Mourinho has been allocated the unenviable task of overcoming the wide barrier 19.
Saint Or Sinner (barrier 2), Supremacy (barrier 11) and Team Hawkes-trained Zephyron (barrier 4) have been confirmed as the three emergency runners for this weekend’s feature at Caulfield.
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