The 2018 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival winds up on Saturday with the running of the $350,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) on a massive ten race program at Ballarat.
Leading Victoria trainer Darren Weir who has a huge part of his operation based at Ballarat, could have a possible seven runners in his home town Cup with five runners in the eighteen horse field plus two of the three emergencies.
With such a huge representation in the Ballarat Cup, the Weir runners have drawn right across the board with Another Coldie drawing the rails while first emergency Top Prospect is the widest drawn of the Weir runners at eighteen.
Chris Waller will saddle up two runners, Life Less Ordinary (barrier 7) and Savacool (barrier 19) while local trainer Matt Cumani was given no home town favours with One More Try set to jump from the outside gate.
We have analysed all the runners and our complete 2018 Ballarat Cup tips can be found below.
Life Less Ordinary
The Chris Waller trained Life Less Ordinary has been placed twice from his last three starts and heads to the Ballarat Cup after finishing second over 1800m in the Furphy Plate on Melbourne Cup Day. Life Less Ordinary’s previous run saw him finished less than two lengths from the winner when fifth in the Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington. The seven year old has the class to be among the placegetters but has the top weight of 60kg as his major stumbling block.
Lord Fandango also has plenty of weight to carry with 59.5kg and also has to overcome a wide barrier. Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander has put the blinkers back on Lord Fandango who has fair recent form, including a last start fourth to The Taj Mahal in the Group 2 Zipping Classic over 2400m at Sandown last Saturday. Has the class to figure in the finish.
Another Coldie is the first of trainer Darren Weir’s runners and lines up on his home track with winning country form with victories in the 1800m Horsham Cup and in the 2000m Kyneton Cup. Will find this tougher and is yet to win beyond 2000m.
The Darren Weir trained Tradesman had some solid form during the Queensland Winter Carnival but has been unplaced at two runs this time in at Flemington and Sandown. Will be suited by the step up to the 2200m and will get a lovely run from barrier five.
Kiwia is another of the Darren Weir runners who will appreciate the step up to the 2200m of the Ballarat Cup and is coming off a last start fifth in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes over 1800m at Sandown last Saturday. Has strong each way claims.
Mask Of Time
Mask Of Time is another one backing up from last Saturday’s Sandown meeting and finished just ahead of Kiwia in fourth position in the Eclipse Stakes. The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Mask Of Time dead heated for first three starts back in the 2000m Group 3 Coongy Cup at Caulfield after setting the pace. Might have to push forward again from a very wide barrier.
The John Sargent trained Luvaluva has a nice barrier in the capacity eighteen horse field as well as a light weight and looms as one of the main chances coming off a last start third in the 2000m Group 2 Matriarch Stakes at Flemington on the last day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Andrea Mantegna was back in the winner’s circle last start with a victory in the Ararat Cup over 2000m and the Darren Weir trained six year old will appreciate the step up to the 2200m of the Ballarat Cup. Has each way claims.
Berisha has been unplaced from four runs this campaign and was always well back last start when eighth in the 2400m Bendigo Cup. Will find this no easier.
One More Try
The Matt Cumani trained One More Try is racing in outstanding form with three wins from her three runs this campaign and is coming off a last start win over 1700m against the mares at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day. The prospect of a home town victory for One More Try were dashed at the barrier draw when she came up with the outside gate in the capacity field of eighteen plus three emergencies.
Pilote D’Essai has only been in the winner’s stall once since winning the 2016 Ballarat Cup and has been unplaced from five runs this campaign, the latest a seventh in the 2000m Kyneton Cup. No easier here.
Lycurgus drops considerably in weight but is stepping up in class and distance after running third in a 2000m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Flemington on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Master Zephyr was a winner three starts back in the 2200m Hamilton Cup and drops 5.5kg on his last start third in the 2000m Ararat Cup. The Darren Weir trained seven year old has no problem with the journey and his lightweight will help him overcome a wide barrier. Has each way claims.
The second of Chris Waller’s runner, Savacool, has consistent form in weaker company with two wins and two placings from her last four starts. The 2200m of the Ballarat Cup shouldn’t be a problem after Savacool ran on from the back to win a BenchMark 90 Handicap over 1800m at Flemington on Kennedy Oaks Day but she will need plenty of luck from a very wide barrier.
Swacadelic will appreciate the step up in distance and a huge drop in weight in the Ballarat Cup after finishing seventh in 2000m Ararat Cup at his latest outing.
Oncidium Ruler was runner up in last year’s Ballarat Cup but goes into this year’s event with only one run under his belt, a lacklustre sixth of six in a 1600m BenchMark 96 Handicap at Flemington on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Silvera is yet to win beyond 2000m and heads to Ballarat following a last start fourth in a 2000m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Flemington on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Smart As You Think
Smart As You Think has a lot of improvement to do on his last start ninth in the 2000m Kyneton Cup if he is to be a threat in the Ballarat Cup.
First emergency Top Prospect was quick to get back into the winner’s stall at his second run this campaign with a win in a 2000m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Flemington on the final day of the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival, Has the Darren Weir polish to help his chances.
Lucky For All
Lucky For All is the last of the Darren Weir runners and has the blinkers on for the first time following his sixth as favourite behind his stablemate Top Prospect in a 2000m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Flemington on the final day of the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Third emergency He Ekscels nearly pulled off an upset win at double figure odds when run down by Tally to be a nose second in the Group 3 1800m Eclipse Stakes at Sandown last Saturday. Has place claims again if he sneaks into the final field.