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2016 Adelaide Cup Preview

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The Adelaide Cup may no longer be a Group 1 event, but it is still one of the biggest events on the South Australian Racing calendar and 17 stayers are set to contest the race this afternoon.

Early favourite Signoff has been scratched due to an elevated temperature, but Darren Weir still has an excellent chance to win the Adelaide Cup for the first time with talented mare Real Love, who is a $2.10 favourite to claim victory.

Will Real Love prove too strong for her rivals or is there a chance of a boil over? I have analysed the chances of all 17 runners and have found a couple of horses that represent value at their current odds.

Real Love

Real Love is a clear favourite in 2016 Adelaide Cup betting. Photo by: Ultimate Racing Photos

Real Love is a clear favourite in 2016 Adelaide Cup betting. Photo by: Ultimate Racing Photos

Real Love is yet to produce a bad performance since she joined the stable of Darren Weir and she heads into this race on the back of a tough staying victory in the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington on March 5. She still has some scope to improve on that performance, but there is always the question mark over horses when they step-up to 3200 metres for the first time. She gives every impression that she will run out the trip and if she does she will prove very tough to beat.

Kushadasi

Kushadasi would be a genuine winning chance in the Adelaide Cup if he could replicate the rating he received when he took out the 2014 South Australian Derby, but he hasn’t reached that level since and he is heading in the wrong direction this preparation. He is not the worst chance, but it would still be a surprise.

Gamblin’ Guru

Gamblin’ Guru is a very consistent performer and he rarely produces a poor run, but whether he has the upside to win is the question. He would have to hit a new peak here to be a genuine winning chance against the likes of Real Love and the 3200 metres could test his staying credentials. More than happy to oppose at the current odds.

Go Dreaming

Go Dreaming has the chance to record the biggest victory of his career to date in the 2016 Adelaide Cup. Photo by: Jenny Barnes

Go Dreaming has the chance to record the biggest victory of his career to date in the 2016 Adelaide Cup. Photo by: Jenny Barnes

He produced a career best performance to win the Birthday Cup, but he was not able to replicate that in the Lord Reims Stakes and he was found to be lame after the race. That is far from an ideal preparation for an Adelaide Cup and even if he performs at his best it is tough to see him having the quality required to win.

Like A Carousel

Like A Carousel is a roughie that appeals at good odds. He has done nothing this preparation, but the three best runs of his career to date have all been over 3200 metres and he is the genuine stayer in this race. The Helike gelding will not be stopping on the line and he is the horse that could benefit if Real Love does not get the trip. At $21, he is an excellent each-way bet and the Sydney Cup placegetter is sure to give you plenty of value for your ticket.

Up Cups

Up Cups has been in outstanding form this preparation and he has recorded four wins on the trot in impressive fashion. He showed plenty of toughness to take out both the Hobart Cup and the Launceston Cup, but this still represents a big rise in class. The gelding has upside, but he still needs to improve sharply to win this.

Swacadelic

Swacadelic upstaged Signoff and Real Love to win the Torney Night Cup, but it is fair to say that he had every favour in the run. This will be his first step-up to 3200 metres and he produced a below par performance the only other time he has raced at over 2500 metres. It is easy to see why he has been supported in betting since the scratching of Signoff, but there are other horses in the race with more appeal at longer odds.

Jim’s Journey

Jim’s Journey has decent lead-up form and he is another galloper that rarely produces a poor performance. He gives the impression that he will run a strong 3200 metres and his previous efforts over extended staying trips were strong. He looks to have found his right price, but there is worse each-way bets in the race.

Lucques

Lucques was on the right track this preparation, but he produced a slightly flat effort in the Torney Night Cup and there is now a concern over whether he has gone over the top at the end of what has been a lengthy preparation.

Tunes

Tunes is one of a number of betting outsiders in the 2016 Adelaide Cup. Photo by: Jenny Barnes

Tunes is one of a number of betting outsiders in the 2016 Adelaide Cup. Photo by: Jenny Barnes

He was far from disgraced behind Signoff in the Lord Reims Stakes, but it is very hard to see him improving from that run. He simply does not have the quality required to match it with the likes of Real Love.

Wales

Real Love beat him easily last start and it is very tough to see him turning-the-tables here, while was no match for Up Cups in the Hobart Cup. Not for me.

Last Wish

Last Wish is set to take winning form into this race following his victories in the Ladbrokes.Com.Au Handicap and EJ Whitten Foundation Handicap, but this is a massive step-up in class. He still needs to improve several lengths to prove a factor here and he is well under the odds at his current quote.

Gallatain

The former Darley stayer is yet to record a win for his new trainers and has performed at several levels below his best since the stable change. He would need a massive turnaround of form to even finish in the top five and it is easy to see why he is one of the extreme outsiders.

Celtic Prince

Celtic Prince previously performed well at Group level under the care of Bjorn Baker in Sydney. Photo by: Jenny Barnes

Celtic Prince previously performed well at Group level under the care of Bjorn Baker in Sydney. Photo by: Jenny Barnes

Celtic Prince made up good ground late to finish second behind Signoff in the Lord Reims Stakes in what was easily his best performance since he joined the stable of Grant Young. He was competitive at Group level as a younger horse and he will stay all day. He probably isn’t good enough to win, but the $10 to finish in the placings does appeal.

Distillation

He ran very well in this race last year, but has hasn’t been able to recapture that sort of form and he has failed to beat home a runner in his past two starts. It would not surprise me if he produced a much improved performance here because he is sure to get the trip, but that won’t be good enough to win.

Tidy Prophet

Tidy Prophet performed fairly in the Birthday Cup before she returned to winning form in the Port Lincoln Cup. Even though she won, that is far from an ideal preparation for an Adelaide Cup and she will be jumping from 2000 metres to 3200 metres for this.

Purple Smile

You have to respect the stable and that is probably why she isn’t at triple figures odds, but this does seem ambitious placement from the Lindsay Park team. She does not win out of her turn and lacks the quality to win a race of this calibre.

Analysis

After having a close look at all 17 runners in the Adelaide Cup field it is clear that Real Love is deserving of her status as a short-priced favourite. If she runs the trip she just wins and Darren Weir is the master of peaking horses on the big day. There is no great edge at the current price, but you really don’t want to tip against her.

The best each-way bet in the race is clearly Like A Carousel. He was placed in the Sydney Cup last year – a much stronger race than this – and he is a horse that can go nothing over shorter distances, but return to his best form when he gets to 3200 metres. The $5 for him to run a place is the best bet in this race.

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.