The 2018 Bendigo Cup at Bendigo on Wednesday could be the last throw of the dice for several potential Melbourne Cup hopefuls to gain a place in ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’ on the first Tuesday in November.
Patrick Erin, Dal Harraild, Lord Fandango and Sir Charles Road all have an outside chance of making the final twenty-four horse field of the Melbourne Cup if they won the Group 2 $350,000 Bendigo Cup (2400m) and then received a weight penalty to push them up the order of entry for the famous two miler.
Trainer Chris Waller scratched The Metropolitan winner Patrick Erin from last Saturday’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) because of a wide barrier but the seven year old was out of luck again after receiving gate thirteen in the fifteen horse Bendigo Cup field.
The Darren Weir trained Furrion has been installed as the short price favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Bendigo Cup on the back of a hat trick of wins before his last start third in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m)
We have analysed the field and our complete 2018 Bendigo Cup tips can be found below.
Former New Zealand trained stayer Patrick Erin scored his first win for trainer Chris Waller with a photo finish decision over his stablemate Brimham Rocks in the Group 1 The Metropolitan over 2400m at Randwick on September 29. The seven year old is dropping back in class but has to lump the top weight of 58kg and overcome barrier thirteen in the fifteen horse field. Is one of the main chances and a win will give him some hope of making the 2018 Melbourne Cup field.
English import Dal Harraild is also looking for a late call up into the Melbourne Cup with a win in the Bendigo Cup. Dal Harraild has had one run for the training partnership of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace for an eighth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and will find this a lot easier. Has each way claims with the blinkers on for the first time.
The Archie Alexander trained Lord Fandango could also benefit greatly with a Melbourne Cup weight penalty for winning the Bendigo Cup and his chances look okay coming off a last start sixth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m). Has drawn out a little bit but is still at single figure odds in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Sir Charles Road
Kiwi stayer Sir Charles Road failed to beat a runner home at his most recent start when seventh in the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m). The five year old is a winner over the Bendigo Cup distance of 2400m and did run third in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival. The blinkers come off and his is also under the $10 mark in the betting.
Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton is fitter for two runs from a spell and is a likely improver on his last start third in the Group 3 JRA Cup over 2040m at The Valley on September 28. Mark Zahra to ride and will get a good run from barrier two.
The Darren Weir trained Furrion has progressed up through the ranks very quickly with wins at Geelong, Flemington and Caulfield before a last start third as favourite in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m). The four year old has a nice weight and will be able to slot in just off the pace from barrier nine and is worth being given a chance to redeem himself after his last start defeat. Has been installed as the short priced Bendigo Cup favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Master Of Arts
Hard to get enthused about the chances of Master Of Arts who failed to handle the wet conditions when last of ten in the 2600m St Leger at Randwick on October 13. Was a well beaten seventh at his previous start in the Group 2 2000m Hill Stakes at Randwick.
Happy Moment has been well beaten in weaker company than this and the Anthony Freedman trained nine year old Japanese import heads to the Bendigo Cup after finishing last of nine in the 2050m Moe Cup.
Hard to see Berisha threatening here on recent form that includes a last start sixth in the 2025m Cranbourne Cup.
Trainer Darren Weir’s second stringer Ormito is one of the outsiders of the field and heads to the Bendigo Cup on the back of an eighth of eleven in the 1800m Horsham Cup.
Red Alto is at long double figure odds at Ladbrokes.com.au after finishing fifth in both the Benalla Cup (2046m) and in the Hamilton Cup (2200m). Harder assignment here.
Rezealient was never in the hunt last start when eleventh at big odds in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m). One of the outsiders again.
Dandy Gent has been racing in the country without much success and will find this a lot tougher than his last start third in the 2200m Hamilton Cup.
Barry The Baptist
Barry The Baptist is also coming off a last start in the Hamilton Cup when runner up but will need plenty of divine intervention if he is to be a threat here.
Sasko will have no trouble handling the Bendigo Cup distance after finishing second over 2400m in the VOBIS Gold Stayers at Caulfield in July before his last start seventh in a 2000m BenchMark 78 Handicap at Caulfield.