In-form stayer Libran has been given a 2kg penalty for the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 9 after winning at Rosehill last Saturday.
Libran made it two wins from his last two starts and was originally handicapped with 50kg but will now carry 52kg and is assured of a run in the feature Autumn Carnival two miler on the second day of ‘The Championships’.
The Chris Waller trained Libran was given the run of the race by Brenton Avdulla before running away to score a two lengths win over Cafe Society in the Group 3 $150,000 Irresistible Pools & Spas N E Manion Cup (2400m).
And at his previous start the English import with Avdulla in the saddle scored a narrow win over Allergic in the Listed $125,000 Girvan Waugh Randwick City Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on March 5.
“A European stayer like him needs a little bit of confidence and that is what he has now,” Waller said after Libran’s win in the N E Manion Cup.
“He has two good wins and he is heading in the right direction, which is what you want from a horse going towards the Sydney Cup.
“He is still a little bit keen in his races and I am keen to run him again before the Sydney Cup in the Chairman’s.
“That will just give him a little bit more fitness and help him settle a little bit better.’
Waller is planning to give Libran one more run leading up to the Sydney Cup in the Group 2 $300,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick on April 2.
Waller still has Preferment, Who Shot Thebarman and last year’s winner Grand Marshall still among the nominations for the Sydney Cup with Libran at the top of the market order at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Our Ivanhowe is on the second line of betting at $6 ahead of Preferment and Who Shot Thebarman at $7 with Grand Marshall marked at $15.
Early Sydney Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Libran, $6 Our Ivanhowe, $7 Preferment, Who Shot Thebarman, $9 Almoonqith, $15 Arab Dawn, Criterion, Grand Marshall, Mongolian Khan, $21 Dibayani, Rising Romance.