A small field of stayers will line up in the 2017 Group 3 $300,000 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) at Bendigo today with a Melbourne Cup start on the cards for a couple of the runners.
The Bendigo Cup has a real international flavour this year with the favourite Qewy trained by Godolphin’s Newmarket trainer Charlie Appleby and trainer Robert Hickmott will saddle up European import Foundry.
English stayer Qewy could earn another start in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington next Tuesday with a win in today’s Bendigo Cup. The Charlie Appleby trained Qewy finished fourth in last year’s Melbourne Cup after winning the Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong. Qewy then went on to win the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Cup (3200m) at Sandown. Qewy has had two runs since in England and finished well back last start when thirteenth in the Group 1 £523,000 Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes (2 mile) at Goodwood in England on August 1.
Foundry has to bounce back following a disgraceful last start tenth of ten in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 14 when there was obviously something amiss. Two starts back the Robert Hickmott trained Foundry was the winner of the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 30 and if he finds his best form today could find himself in the 2017 Melbourne Cup field.
Trainer Darren Weir targeted the Bendigo Cup for Kiwia after the four year old continued his good Spring form with a last start win in the Group 3 $150,000 Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 21. Kiwia has worked his way up through the classes and will be suited by the 2400m of today’s Bendigo Cup after winning over the mile and a half in the VOBIS Gold Stayers at Caulfield in July.
The step up to the 2400m of today’s race will suit Big Memory who found his best recent form last start over 2050m at his third run back from a spell when fourth in the $150,000 Moe Cup at Moe last start. The eight year old is one that could figure in the finish if he finds his best form that saw him win the 2014 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield .
Meet And Greet
Meet And Greet will be stepping up to the 2400m for the first in a tougher environment than his last start second in a 2000m BenchMark 78 Handicap at Caulfield on October 18. Mornington based trainer Chris Meagher must think Meet And Greet has some staying potential and it will be interesting to see if he handles the increase in distance today.
Skulguggery is the outsider of the seven horse Bendigo Cup field and is another coming out of restricted grade following his last start third in an 1800m BenchMark 70 Handicap at Morphettville on October 14.
The Pat Carey trained Khartoum has also been thrown into the deep end and heads into the Bendigo Cup on the back of a fourth in a 2400m BenchMark 84 Handicap at Caulfield on October 18. Khartoulm only broke through for his maiden win two starts back over the same course and distance as today’s Bendigo Cup.