The 2017 Cairns Cup Form Guide is essential reading for racing fans and punters ahead of the feature race in North Queensland on Saturday afternoon.
An open field of thirteen stayers will step out in the 2017 Cairns Cup, but we have analysed every horse in detail, in order to help you find the winner.
Townsville Cup winner Chivadahlii is seeking a third-consecutive race win in the Cairns Cup, but will have to overcome the likes of Flying Light, Great Pretender and The Lynches.
Flying Light has produced a number of strong performances and results this time and is one of the class horses of the 2017 Cairns Cup field. Beginning his career under the guidance of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, the Exceed And Excel gelding was a smart city performer in Victorian through his early preparations and finished second behind Tally in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) most notably in 2016. While yet to win through five starts for Errol Sewell, Flying Light flew home to finish third in the Townsville Cup (2000m) on July 29th and should prove extremely tough to beat in the Cairns Cup, even with a race-high 60kgs in tow.
Townsville Cup winner Chivadahlii is seeking a third-consecutive win in the Cairns Cup and is undoubtedly the horse to beat in Saturday’s feature race. Chivadahlii has been saddled by several top-line trainers, including Darren Weir throughout his racing career, but has undoubtedly found his most ideal conditions since transferring to Rockhampton horseman Jamie McConachy in May. The Nothin’ Leica Dane gelding was too good for a smart field in the Townsville RSL Royal Rewards WFA (2000m) on July 15th and franked that performance with his comfortable win in the Townsville Cup. Drawn and weighted to win, Chivadahlii will be partnered by leading country hoop Robert Thompson.
Hot Saga has been reasonably inconsistent this time, but is capable of a big run on his day and is not without a chance of finishing in the first three on Saturday. The winner of a mile race at Townsville on June 29th, the Real Saga gelding was well beaten in the Townsville RSL Royal Rewards WFA, but struck on well for sixth in the Townsville Cup last time out.
Ranked could only managed a midfield finish in the Townsville Cup last time, but he is a proven performer at the distance and should be rock-hard fit ahead of the Cairns Cup. The Montjeu gelding is bred to relish the conditions of a race like the Cairns Cup, but he has been charged with overcoming a difficult barrier and will need to improve significantly to win this race.
Veteran galloper Major Major has only been fair this time in and it would take his best performance for more than three years to walk away the Cairns Cup winner on Saturday afternoon. Posting a career total of six wins and eleven minors through fifty-six starts, the son of Encosta De Lago was last seen finishing eighth in the Townsville Cup. He is drawn ideally in barrier 2.
Go By Rio
Go By Rio’s form has tailed off in recent appearances, but the gelding has shown plenty of ability amongst similar fields this time in and is a live chance, should he re-find some of his early campaign form. The Rios gelding was a smart winner at Townsville first-up on March 16th and finished second over varying distances at his next three starts. The horse arguably did not get the 2000m of the Townsville RSL Royal Rewards WFA and subsequently finished twelfth in the Townsville Cup last time out.
Eleven-year-old Mukaddamah Son is other horse that failed to fire in the Townsville Cup and he would need to improve tenfold to be in the finish of the Cairns Cup. The son of Brief Truce did run a handy fourth in the Halpin Partners Accountants Handicap (1400m) at Cairns on July 18th, but his best years are probably behind him and he is outclassed in this Cairns Cup field.
Great Pretender is a proven performer at the track and distance of the Cairns Cup and is a live chance of winning the feature race. Amidst a busy racing preparations which spans eleven starts since March, Great Pretender ran second in a 1450m weight-for-age race at Laura on June 24th, before returning to Cairns to finish second in the Halpin Partners Accountants Handicap on July 18th. Fourth in the Townsville Bulletin BM65 (1609m), the Oratorio gelding posted a comfortable win in the Burkin Svendsens Funerals BM65 (1900m) last time out on August 5th and will only improve at 2000m.
Aldren is another horse that has only been fair this time and he will need to be at his best to go close in the Cairns Cup. Winner of the Charters Towers Cup (1800m) on June 24th, the Starcraft gelding has failed to produce much in his two most-recent starts, including an eighth place finish in a minor 2000m race at Townsville on July 29th and he will need to show some early pace not to get lost from the rails draw.
Khadija has been inconsistent this time, but she has also raced in far tougher fields than this and is not without a chance in the Cairns Cup. Third in a 2000m race at Mackay on July 8th, the Quest Fir Fame mare finished tenth in the Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) on July 15th and eleventh in a Townsville 2000m race on July 29th, but responded with an impressive win in the Qld Hotels Association BM65 (1800m) on August 1st. She has drawn into the Cairns Cup field ideally in gate 5 and is weighted to win.
Local runner Ramsden Street has plenty of experience on the Cairns course, but he faces a big step up in class into this field and faces a big task in doing so. The Street Sense gelding finished ninth in a 1900m Cairns race and a 2000m Townsville race, before running on for fifth in the Burkin Svendsens Funerals BM65 last time out.
Gold Coast horse The Lynches has been a competitive performer largely in city races this time in and is a live chance of winning the Cairns Cup. Fifth in two Gold Coast sprints through June and early July, the Dylan Thomas gelding ran on for second in the Lavaracks Restaurant BM60 (1400m) before placing sixth in the Wilson, Ryan Grose Lawyers BM65 (2000m) on July 29th. Early luck from a wide draw is key.
Six-year-old Pink Stiletto has raced well without returning to winning form this time in and she will be given every chance in the Cairns Cup. Second in three starts through April and May, the Power Of Destiny mare failed to beat a single runner home in the Peters Magic Millions BM65 (1900m) at Cairns on June 10th, but finished a credible fifth when dropping back to 1470m at Bowen on August 5th.