A solid performance by Annus Mirabilis in today’s Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville could see the Irish import head to Sydney for ‘The Championships’.
Trainer Stuart Webb can see Annus Mirabillis running a big race on recent form and if he runs up to expectation with Newmarket Handicap winning jockey Regan Bayliss in the saddle, the Caulfield trainer will have no qualms about heading north for the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 8.
“I think he’ll improve again on a wet track too so if Sydney stays wet then I might aim him towards the Sydney Cup but he’d have to run very well,” Webb told racing.com.
Annus Mirabilis scored back to back wins when he took out the Listed $150,000 Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on January 1 before running third over 2000m in a BenchMark 84 Handicap at Flemington on February 18.
The Montjeu six year old then went back to Flemington for a fifth in the Listed $120,000 Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) on March 4 and Webb said that the gelding could have finished closer with a bit more luck.
“He had a short let up after he won the Bagot on the water walker up at Rockmount and he was terrific first up at Flemington and then had no luck last start,” Webb said.
“We were probably going to straighten up fourth or fifth a couple of lengths off the lead and got shuffled back through the field and to only be beaten the margin he did I thought the run was great.
“He should be further improved with that run under his belt and I’m looking forward to this race.
“The big field will hopefully ensure a genuinely run race and in these sort of races most of the horses tend to not run out the trip and he’s one that I think will.”
Jockey Regan Bayliss is riding with a heap of confidence and showed that last Saturday with his superb ride to get the Lindsay Park trained Redkirk Warrior home in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday and is certain to give Annus Mirabilis a great ride from barrier seven in the nineteen horse Adelaide Cup field.
Annus Mirabilis is well in contention in the betting for the Adelaide Cup and is at the single figure odds of $8 alongside of the Danny O’Brien trained De Little Engine at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Darren Weir trained Master Of Arts is a solid favourite for the Adelaide Cup at $3.80 after scoring a tough win in the Group 3 $120,000 James Boag’s Premium Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on March 4.