Trainer Peter Snowden is delighted with the condition of Tupac Amaru heading into the 2014 Sydney Cup, but admits that the promising stayer faces a tough task against the older horses in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The conditions of the Sydney Cup state that three-year-olds must carry weight-for-age in the race and Tupac Amaru will carry the same weight as the majority of the field, including a number of seasoned stayers, in the $1 million race on Saturday.
Snowden told Racing Ahead that he was happy to back Tupac Amaru up in the Sydney Cup after he recovered well from his brave second behind Criterion in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick last Saturday, but he believes the weight scale does not make it easy for the Street Cry colt.
“He is really well and that helped me make my mind up pretty easy,” Snowden said.
“He has come through in great order.
“On face value it doesn’t look like a great call because he is meeting these older and more seasoned horses at level weights; most of the field are on 54 the same as him.
“It is the condition of the race that three-year-olds are given weight-for-age, which is pretty odd in a handicap, and the weights have been raised.
“He is meeting seasoned horses that have run close to this sort of ground, but the thing about this bloke is that he is a real out and out dour stayer.
“He can stick all day and he is in great order and he looks fantastic, probably better than he was last Friday.
“I think that it is worth a shot.”
Tupac Amaru has only recorded a single race win, when he took out the City Of Ballarat Plate (1600m) on September 22 last year, but he produced the best performance of his career in the Australian Derby last weekend.
Snowden was delighted with the tough three-year-olds effort in the Australian Derby, but believes that Tupac Amaru could have won the race, if jockey Kerrin McEvoy had been a bit more patient coming around the final turn.
“It took him by surprise how quick he went around him and he is a real chaser; he needs something to keep him focused and keep his mind on the job,” Snowden said.
“He found himself in front almost when he straightened the other day and the first thing he did was prick his ears and have a look and when the other horse came at him he kicked again.
“It was a terrific run and a career best run and he just keeps rallying all the time.
“This is a big ask for him over two mile, but it gives us a bit of foresight for later on if he is that sort of horse.”
Tupac Amaru has been one of the best-backed runners in 2014 Sydney Cup betting markets and is available at odds of $13, while The Offer ($3.10) remains a clear favourite from Who Shot Thebarman ($6).