The Darren Weir trained Master Of Arts has been given a 1.5kg penalty for the 2018 Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on day two of The Championships on April 14.
Master of Arts was originally weighted with 50kg for the Autumn Carnival feature two miler but his win in last Saturday’s Group 3 $150,000 Irresistible Pools & Spas N E Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill has seen his Sydney Cup weight raised to 51.5kg.
Master Of Arts was scratched from the Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 12 because of a wide barrier with connections opting to switch to a Sydney Cup campaign.
The six year old’s campaign is on track with a solid win over the 2400m and the grey will have his final Sydney Cup hit out a week before in the Group 2 $300,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on April 7.
Weir’s assistant trainer Jarrod McLean was on hand at Rosehill on Saturday to supervise the stable’s runners and said that Master Of Arts’ connetions had pulled the right rein by side stepping the Adelaide Cup and heading to Sydney.
“It was the right decision by the Paul Fudge and the owners to miss the Adelaide Cup after drawing the wide barrier they opted to come here,” McLean said.
“The Chairman’s is in a couple of weeks and then a week into the Sydney Cup.”
“He is up here now. We have a nice little base at Newcastle right on the beach so looking forward to being up for the next few weeks.”
Master Of Arts is still rated at double figure odds for the Sydney Cup even after winning the N E Manion Cup and is marked at $21 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Weir also has Ormito in the running for the Sydney Cup and the Adelaide Cup runner up is also marked as a $21 chance.
Melbourne Cup winner and Sydney Cup top weight Almandin sits at the top of the market order at $7.50 ahead of his stablemate Aloft at $8 and the Chris Waller trained Alward and Lindsay Park’s Ventura Storm who share the next line of betting at $11.
Almandin has had two Autumn Carnival runs for a second in the Listed $120,000 Ladbrokes Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield on February 24 and a fourth to Harlem in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 and is a proven two miler with a win in the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Aloft put himself into Sydney Cup contention with a first up win in the Listed $120,000 3AW Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington on March 3 and the English import is a winner over two miles at Ascot.
Early betting for the 2018 Sydney Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $7.50 Almandin, $8 Aloft, $11 Alward, Ventura Storm, $12 Fanatic, $13 Auvray, Harlem, Libran, Single Gaze, $15 Lord Fandango, $17 Prestwick, $21 Ambitious, Master Of Arts, Ormito, Patrick Erin, $26 Gallic Chieftain, Lizzie L’Amour, Peribsen, Who Shot The Barman, $34 Cismontane, Foundry, Stampede, $41 Singing, $51 or better the rest.