Co-trainer Stephen Autridge said running their New Zealand-bound stayer Chance To Dance in the Sydney Cup 2017 for a second time was not ideal, but that the lucrative prize money was too good to ignore.
Former Lloyd Williams-raced import Chance To Dance is one of the eleven original horses backing-up in Saturday’s $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick after contesting the no-race a fortnight ago.
On April 8 the Sydney Cup was abandoned after the race fall of the ill-fated Almoonqith, but the now Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Chance To Dance was one of the gallopers that did not pull up and ran out the full two miles.
The Teofilo seven-year-old and hoop Damian Lane crossed the line second, splitting the Charlie Appleby-trained raiders Polarisation and Penglai Pavilion in the voided Sydney Cup result.
Matamata-based Autridge said original plans with their new stable acquisition were to head to Brisbane for the winter post Sydney Cup targeting the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) at weight-for-age on May 20.
Instead the last start Adelaide Cup fourth placegetter, recently purchased by Fortuna Syndicate for $260,000 at the Inglis Chairman’s Sale, will run in the rescheduled 3200m classic in Sydney on Saturday before heading across the Tasman to reside at Te Akau Racing next week.
“It’s not ideal is it? We wouldn’t back up a horse after a two-mile race. That would be the horse’s grand final,” Richards told AAP.
“Obviously to split the Godolphin horses in the finish [the first time] was a good effort.
“You sort of shook your head and had to watch the rest of the race unfold knowing full well it was over.
“I guess we’ll never know if the back-markers were going to catch the horses that were racing handier to the speed but guess it gives you a bit more confidence in the horse.”
Chance To Dance currently pays $14 in the updated Sydney Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the second edition, Christian Reith taking over for Lane in the saddle.
The galloper is drawn gate five, which hasn’t produced a Sydney Cup winner since Count Chivas (1996), but is well-weighted getting in on 53kg.
Reith put the horse through his paces in a nice piece of Randwick trackwork on Tuesday morning, Richards said all reports from the hoop were positive heading into Saturday’s re-run.
“Christian was happy with his work,” Richards said.
“We’ve just to make do with the card’s we’ve been dealt. We haven’t done a lot with the horse. He’s very fit and he doesn’t need a lot of work.
“It’s just about keeping him happy and fresh mentally. Hopefully we’ve been able to do that.”
The Darren Weir-trained Big Duke retains Sydney Cup favouritism followed by the aforementioned Godolphin gallopers and new edition to the line-up, Crown Oaks winning filly Lasqueti Spirit.
The Sydney Cup jumps at 3:35pm (AEST) on Saturday as Randwick Race 8.