Proven two milers Yogi and Azuro will start their Queensland Cup battle in the betting ring with the stablemates fighting for favouritism in pre-post betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Race eve betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Yogi and Azuro sharing the top spot at $3 each for the Listed $200,000 Triple M’s Big Breakfast Queensland Cup (3200m) and the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained stayers are certain to take the fight right down to the wire at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Yogi and Azuro both have winning 32oom form and finished first and second in the 2018 Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Cup (3200m) at Sandown at the end of the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival when under the care of disgraced trainer Darren Weir while Azuro found winning form with a victory in the $125,000 Stayer’s Cup (3200m) at Rosehill on June 29.
“I think both horses will be fighting out the finish,” stable Racing Manager Reece Murphy told The Sportsman.
Yogi has been lumped with the 60kg top weight and will jump from barrier four in the eleven horse Queensland Cup field with Ryan Maloney in the saddle and Murphy said that the six year old stayer probably deserves the impost.
“The 60kg is a lot of weight but he is carrying that because he is the class runner,” Murphy said.
“He was a bit stiff not to have won the Winter Cup. He was very strong on the line.”
“He is a horse who races best when kept fresh with his runs spaced and Ciaron‘s got a good record training stayers.”
Yogi failed by a nose to win first up when second to Destiny’s Kiss in the Listed $150,000 Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on June 15 and Murphy can see Maloney giving the six year a nice run from the good barrier.
“With that weight it’s important to draw inside because he does get back,” Murphy said.
“We want him to save as much ground as he can carrying 60kg and with a big weight difference between most of the other horses and him.”
“From that gate he is going to get a perfect run and hopefully with a good ride from Ryan Maloney he should be right in the finish.”
Azuro has drawn alongside of Yogi in barrier three with Matt McGillivray in the saddle and the Stayer’s Cup winner has the luxury of being weighted on the 54kg minimum.
“Azuro gets in well with the light weight,” Murphy said.
“He’s a horse that has just taken a while to work out but Ciaron knows him well now.”
“He’s been in our system a while now and could not be going any better.”